While Samford’s track and field team is training for the upcoming indoor and outdoor seasons, the cross country team is already two meets deep into its fall schedule. Already, Bulldog runners have been successful. On Aug. 24, the Southern Conference released polls predicting the top 10 teams of the year. In this poll, Samford’s men’s team was seeded 3rd behind Furman College and East Tennessee State. The women were seeded 2nd, just nine points behind Furman. The hype was correct for the Bulldogs, as they have so far competed very well in two meets. On Sept. 2, Samford attended Foothills Invitational in Oxford Ala., where they were able to practice “pack running” and completed their races very close to one another. In the men’s 5000 meter race, Andrew McGinnis was Samford’s first athlete to finish with a time of 16:19:93, followed closely by Harrison Seigel, Cole Arrigton, Jeb Jones and Caleb Scheffler. Katie Strozier finished the women’s 4000 meter race in 15th place with a time of 15:20.09, followed within the second by Mackenzie Hogue and Harper McGowan. On Sept. 16, Samford also attended the North Alabama Showcase in Huntsville, Ala. Jeb Jones led the men’s team in the 8000 meter race with a time of 24:48:30, and Mackenzie Hogue placed 10th overall in the women’s 5000 meter, leading the team with a time of 16:56.69–a 24 second personal record. On Sept. 21, the Southern Conference named Hogue the Women’s Runner of the Week.
While this was one of many SoCon honors for the senior, she was happy to receive it and celebrate with her team.
“It was so exciting to get to share that victory with my coaches who worked so hard to help me get here,” Hogue said.
She expressed enthusiasm about attending an upcoming meet in Louisville, the Louisville Cross Country Classic on Oct. 1, one of the largest collegiate meets that Samford will participate in.
“We’ll be running with a lot of talent,” Hogue said, “which is always an honor.”
Hogue has her eyes set on running her best at the NCAA South Region Championships in Huntsville, and hopes to continue on to compete in the national NCAA Cross Country Championships in Oklahoma. In the meantime, she said she is proud to be representing Samford’s cross country team in her senior year and is soaking in every moment. Hogue and the Bulldogs will travel to Louisville on Saturday, Oct. 1 to compete in the Live in Lou Classic.