Women's Cross Country Team Opens The 2021 Season Strong
The Winston-Salem State Women's Cross Country team opened its 2021 season with an eighth-place finish in the Fleet Feet Invitational in Salisbury, NC, on Saturday morning. The Rams Men did not compete.
It was the first competition since 2019, and interim coach Antonio Wells was excited about his young team's finish. "We actually exceeded what I expected," he said. "Our girls have been working hard. It showed, and they came out with a lot of grit."
Freshman Tiarra Smith (Greensboro, Southeast Guilford High) led the Rams, crossing the finish line in the 5k (3.11 mile) race in 22:35.0. She was the 37th finisher in the 11-team meet. Sophomore Vanessa Jones (Winston-Salem, North Forsyth High) finished 41st with a time of 22.46.1.
WSSU, who placed third in the 2019, faced a much stronger field in this year's meet. "It was a lot higher competition this year," Wells noted. "I told the girls it's about knowing who is in your race and being aware."
Rounding out the top five for the Rams were another freshman Tinasia Davis (Angier, NC, Harnett Central High), 54th (24:15.7); senior Tamia McLean (Kingston, Jamaica, Excelsior High), 63rd (24:41.0); and junior Elizabeth Chukwuezi (Stafford, VA, Colonia Forge High), 73rd (25:52.0).
Lenoir-Rhyne won the meet with 30 points, slipping past Anderson (SC) with 31 points. The Rams finished with 222 points, trailing CIAA Southern Division rival Fayetteville State. The Broncos scored 192 points, earning a seventh-place finish.
WSSU's next race is September 18 when they travel to Rock Hill, SC, for the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational.