COLUMBIA, SC (October 2, 20201) – The Claflin University men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to the course, Saturday with some terrific performances at the 2021 Koala XC Classic. After a week to get healthy, the teams got look at the future of the program with some terrific performances by the younger members of both teams.

“The team ran well, the women’s team was led by freshman Madison McDonald, a freshman, in her first race of the year following some adversity early in the season,” said Claflin Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Head Coach Garon Jackson. “The top four women look strong, but we need the fifth and sixth runners to step up.”

Claflin freshman Madison McDonald made the most of her debut on the course when she led the way for the Lady Panthers. She finished the women’s 6K run with a 26:34.7 to lead the way for the Lady Panthers. Senior Sky Buie-Cox added a 27:32.1 for the next top time for the Lady Panthers and senior Esther Chukwunwike added a 28:27.1. Junior Nytajah Smalls rounded out the Lady Panthers’ quartet.
She ran a 30:49.4.

“The men were led by sophomore Caleb Patterson and freshman Chandar Anderson,” Jackson added. “Both guys ran their personal bests, and the men’s team improved their overall performances.”

The Panthers men’s cross country team saw a youth revolution with the top performances coming from Patterson and Anderson. Patterson led the way for the Panthers in the men’s 8K run with a 30:13.3 while Anderson added a 33:00.3 to place second on the team. Another freshman Jaiden Henderson added a 36:29.0 while freshman Darius Holmes added a 40:06.8.

The two teams will return to action, Friday when the team takes part in the Royals Challenge hosted by  Queens (N.C.).