The Eastern Mennonite Royals' men's and women's cross country team opened their season at the second annual Hyder-McMahill Invitational in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The Royals were joined by Roanoke College, Warren Wilson College, Southern Wesleyan, Mars Hill University, and hosts Montreat College.
On the women's side senior Michaela Mast (Broadway, Va./Eastern Mennonite) was the overall winner with a time of 20:16.7.
Head coach Hannah Chappell-Dick complimented the women after their strong finish.
"The women ran together with confidence and it paid off with a definitive win," she said.
The women won the overall meet with a score of 23, ahead of Roanoke (44), Southern Wesleyan (68), Montreat (90), and Warren Wilson (134).
On the men's side, EMU had individual runners competing in the race. Freshman Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) completed the race with a time of 17:39.7.
"The men did a great job executing the plan that we had set for them before the race, which was to go out conservatively and finish strong," said Chappell-Dick. "They have each already began to make improvements since our time trial during preseason, which is exciting to see."
Sophomore Diego Avila (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) finished shortly after Allen with a final time of 17:54.6. Derrick Chirinos (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) and Calin Boeckman (Staunton, Va./Fort Defiance) finished at 18:41.7 and 19:38.6.
"The work is far from over, as the competition will only heat up from here," Chappell-Dick said of the upcoming season.
The men and women are set to compete again on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the JMU Invitational in New Market, Va.