VICTORIA — Fort Hays State Cross Country opened the 2018 season on Saturday by hosting the Sand Plum Alumni Open. The Tigers competed against Bethany College and a handful of alumni.  

On the men's side, Israel Barco, Seppe Van't Westende, Robbie Schmidt, and Oscar Carmona all finished in a time of 15:40.7, while Brett Meyer was right on their heels in 15:40.9. Layton Werth (15:41.5) and Alex Barbosa (15:43.6) were close behind, while Bill Oyet, Reed Rome, and Justin Moore all broke the 16-minute mark.

Jamall Theodile was the first Bethany College runner to cross the line in a time of 17:08.

On the women's side, Yessenia Gonzales led the way for the Tigers with a time of 19:09. Abigail Stewart was six seconds behind in a time of 19:15, while Grace Buessing posted a time of 19:25.2. Chelsea Jackson was the top alum to finish, right on the hip of Buessing in 19:25.4. Tessa Durnell (19:53) and Averi Wilson (20:02) rounded out the top five for FHSU.

Lauren Gragg was Bethany's top runner, crossing the line in a time of 24:31.

Fort Hays will have a few weeks to prep for its next race, competing at the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas, hosted by the University of Arkansas.