CLEMSON, SC - Roland Hakes led the Tiger men's team to a third-place finish at the Wake Forest Cross Country Invitational on Friday at Beeson Park in Kernersville, NC. The meet served as a preview of the ACC Championships, which will be held at the same course next month. Hakes finished fourth place as an individual to pace the men's group. The Tiger women took fifth place.
Hakes was in contention for the win, but finished just over a second behind a trio of Florida State runners. His finish was the best for the Tiger men's team for a second straight week, as last weekend he took eighth place individually at the Furman Classic. Hakes posted a time of 25:08.41 on Friday.
Aaron Ramirez returned to action for the first time in 2013. The all-region performer from last fall finished 12th on Friday, posting an 8K time of 25:32.23. The No. 3 runner Friday for Mark Elliott's team was sophomore Josh Davis, who was 22nd overall at 25:53.27. The final two scoring positions were manned by a pair of sophomores, Travis Christenberry (26:11.50) and Stephen Lewandowski (26:12.08) in 26th and 27th, respectively.
The women's team struggled to a fifth-place effort Friday. The team had a solid 37-second split between its top five runners, with all finishing between positions 18 and 29. For the second straight meet, four of the five scorers were true freshmen. Natalie Anthony, the team's top returning performer, did not race once again for the Tigers because of injury.
Cara Talty, a senior from Raritan, NJ, took the top spot this week in 18th place. She had a 6K time of 22:05.69. She was closely followed in 19th by a freshman, Alexa Womack of Georgia. Womack turned in a time of 22:07.92. The final three scoring spots were claimed by Grace Barnett (22:22.96) in 23rd, Catherine Herring (22:40.71) in 27th, and Evie Tate (22:42.93) in 29th.
The teams return to action on Friday, Oct. 4 in South Bend, IN at the Notre Dame Invitational.