195 runners participated in the women’s 5k. Photo by Harrison Neville

On Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 a.m. the University of Montevallo hosted the annual Falcon Classic for cross-country. The classic consisted of an 8k race for men and a 5k race for women. A total of 25 colleges sent students to compete for the men’s race, and 22 for the women’s.  

Montevallo’s men’s team placed fifth overall in the competition and the women’s team placed sixth overall. The overall time for the men’s team was 2 hours 15 minutes, with an average individual time of 27 minutes. The total time for the women’s team was 1 hour 42 minutes, with an average time of 20 minutes. The competition included both NCAA Division I schools and Division II, with five Division I schools in the women’s race and four in the men’s race.  

In the men’s division, the top runners for Montevallo, Seth Graham and Jake Royster, came in 26th and 36th place respectively, out of 226 total runners. For the women’s division the top runners were Justine Glass and Jodi Martin, who placed 7th and 17th out of 195 runners.  

 The meet was the largest that the University of Montevallo has hosted. Given the number of schools and the extreme heat of the day, Head Coach for UM’s Track and Field Team Tommy Barksdale felt that his teams did well.  

“We are definitely headed in the right direction,” Barksdale said. “We’re about to hit a three week stretch in which we will do nothing but training before we race again, so everything should set up for us to be great, and there should be lots of improvements by our next meet.”  

Though the event was well organized, there was one point of confusion. An ambulance was summoned for a competitor and attempted to reach the individual by driving across the course during the women’s 5k. The vehicle made it halfway across the way before a group of runners reached that point in the course, forcing it to stop. It was effectively stuck there for a few minutes while the runners continued to stream around it. There were a few close calls, but luckily no one was hurt.