ROCK HILL, S.C. – Senior Mickey Sanders and sophomore Stephen Payne led the Jacksonville State men’s cross country team to a fourth-place finish in the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational on Saturday morning at the Winthrop University Farm.

The JSU women were paced by senior Whitley Towns in the women’s 5K as the Gamecocks finished sixth in the team standings.

In the men’s competition, the Gamecocks were tested with their first 8K of the season.  Sanders, from Marquette, Mich., turned in a time of 26:49.36 to place 14th in the individual standings.  It marked the third top-15 finish in an 8K for Sanders.  Payne covered the course in 27:24.56 and claimed 19th place, which was his second top-20 finish of his young career.  Jordan Cummins and Paul Lueck finished side-by-side after times of 28:22.83 and 28:30.25 respectively.

On the women’s side, Towns turned in a mark of 20:01.30 to finish 29th in the Division I field.  Sophomore Ju-ells McLeod finished behind Towns with a time of 20:11.65.  Freshman Autumn East, in just her second outing of the season, crossed the finish line in 20:56.50 as the third Gamecock runner.

Appalachian State claimed both team titles in convincing fashion.  South Carolina Upstate and host-Winthrop rounded out the top-three in the team standings in the men’s event.  Georgia State and Coastal Carolina claimed silver and bronze respectively in the women’s competition.

JSU will next be in action on Saturday, Oct. 4, hosting its annual JSU Foothills Invitational on the grounds at the Oxford Lake Complex.  The meet begins at 9:15 with the running of the women’s 5K, followed by the men’s 8K at 10 a.m.

~ JSU Sportswire
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