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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Cross Country: Commodores finish in the middle of the pack at Joe Piane Invitational

The Commodores traveled to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 29.
Vanderbilt+Mens+and+Womens+Cross+Country+placed+10th+and+8th%2C+respectively%2C+at+the+Joe+Piane+Invitational+on+Sept.+29%2C+2023+%28Vanderbilt+Athletics%29.
Vanderbilt Athletics
Vanderbilt Men’s and Women’s Cross Country placed 10th and 8th, respectively, at the Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 29, 2023 (Vanderbilt Athletics).

Vanderbilt Men’s and Women’s Cross Country went north to compete in the Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 29, hosted by Notre Dame. The competition was loaded with Power 5 teams, as the Commodores competed against Alabama, NC State, Minnesota and Florida State, among others. The invitational was made up of 16 total teams, and the Commodores Men’s and Women’s teams finished in 10th and eighth, respectively. 

A month ago, Vanderbilt opened up its season at the Belmont Opener, with the men’s and women’s teams finishing second and third, respectively. Two weeks later, the women continued their success, capturing second place at the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., while the men took a slight dip, finishing in sixth. 

For the men’s event – a five mile race, freshman Jack DesRoches led Vanderbilt as the first Commodore to cross the finish line. It marked the second meet in a row that the youngster led all Vanderbilt runners, prompting hope for future competitions. His five-mile time of 24:45.7 was good enough for 18th place among all runners in his event. DesRoches was named the SEC Men’s Fresmhman of the Week after his stellar performance. Finishing just behind him was Andrew Panke with a time of 25:03.6. Freshman Brady Bliven and sophomore Dylan Ballard finished neck-and-neck with each other at No. 58 and 60, respectively, with times of 25:34.9 and 25:36.7. Rounding out the top five on the men’s side was another freshman in Jackson Scruggs, who crossed the finish line at the 25:48.3 mark. The men posted a total time of 2:06:03 in the event, finishing just seconds shy of the University of Chicago. 

With three freshmen finishing scoring for Vanderbilt’s Men’s team, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about what the future might hold for the Commodores.

On the flip side, the women’s team (which ran a five-kilometer event as opposed to the men’s five-mile), was led by junior Julia Rosenberg, whose personal best time of 17:19.8 landed her at No. 31 overall among all racers. Junior Ella Lambert (17:25.1) and fifth-year Caroline Eck (17:25.9) snagged top-40 finishes, crossing the line at No. 39 and 40, respectively. Senior Lainey Phelps finished fourth among all Commodores with a personal best of 17:34.8, and Sophomore Audrey Allman rounded out the top five for the women at 17:40.2.

Both teams will look to return to the podium in their next meets. The Commodores will have a nearly month-long break to rest and prepare before traveling to Columbia, S.C., for the SEC Championships on Oct. 27.

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About the Contributor
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Sports Editor
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
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