CLINTON, Miss. – The Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2018 season with second and third place finishes, respectively, at the Mississippi College Season Opener in Clinton, Miss., on Friday.

Junior Elliott Miller was the top finisher for the Alabama men, placing third in15:15.84 over the 8,000-meter course at Choctaw Trails. Freshman Megan Patton led the Tide women with an eight-place finish in 19:06.07 in the women’s 5,000-meter race.

“We had some nice things happen today,” Alabama head coach Dan Waters said following the meet. “This was a good opportunity for several of our freshmen to get a first taste of collegiate competition and we had a number of veterans who looked solid as well. Megan Patton did a great job in the women’s race finishing as our No. 1 runner in her college debut. I was also pleased with what I saw out of Elliott Miller and Payton Ash on the men’s side. We’re in a good place, we just need to keep moving forward.”

Also scoring for the Crimson Tide men were sophomore Hayden Blalock, who finished seventh in 15:58.12; freshman Payton Ash, who finished ninth in 16:03.57; junior Oliver Rigg, who was 14th in 16:15.79 and junior Clay Austell, who finished 18th in 16:28.20.

Samford won the men’s race with 27 points, followed by Alabama (48) and Mississippi College (57).

Other scorers for the Alabama women were freshman Riley Schelp, who covered the 5,000-meter course in 19:26.73 to finish 12th; junior Brittany Tolson, who finished 17th in 19:42.63; freshman Lauren Brackin, who was 21st in 19:48.77 and freshman Savannah Noethlich, who finished 22nd in 19:55.18.

Southerm Miss won the women’s race with 22 points, followed by Samford (39) and Alabama (75).

Alabama will return to action on Friday, Sept. 7 in the SEC Preview Meet at Auburn.