» By MARLON SCOTT – mscott@my.apsu.edu

All they do is run.

Step by step, they eat up miles running up hills, around sinkholes, through the woods and over bridges.

That is the best way to describe the Govs and Lady Govs cross country teams.

On Friday, they were one of 11 schools who gathered at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, to do some more running in the Belmont Opener, the first meet of the season.

“The first meet you show up and see where our training is at and what you need to do, what you need to work on,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “That is the biggest thing we will take away from today. It will give us a point ‘A’, a starting point of where we are, where we need to go.”


At the starting line, the Lady Govs were the red part of a large, colorful multitude of tense athletes that sprang into action after a single, echoing gun shot at Percy Warner Park.

Vanderbilt’s Jordan White was the first woman to cross the finish line of the four-kilometer race with a time of 14:05.45.

Sophomore Xiamar Richards was the first Lady Gov to finish. She earned the 28th spot in 15:17.66. She was one of seven Lady Govs who ran the course. The team finished seventh overall.

“Richards ran a really strong race. She started out strong and I thought she had an excellent race,” Molnar said. “I think the biggest problem on the women’s side was we were not aggressive enough early in the race. “

After the dust settled from the women’s effort, the Govs were part of an even larger pack of men who trampled the grass in a five-kilometer path.

Kentucky’s Luis Orta captured first place with a time of 15:22.40.

Senior Boniface Yator led the six-man Govs team with a 29th-place finish. He crossed the finish line in 16:17.99.

Next, both teams will travel to Huntsville, Ala. to compete in the Fleet Feet Sports/Earl Jacoby Memorial meet on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“We will work from here to improve each and every week. That is the biggest thing, looking for that improvement week to week and getting ready for the conference meet at the end,” Molnar said. TAS