CLINTON, Miss. – Blue Mountain College Women's XC added to the trophy collection and blew past nine other teams, including NCAA DI programs, winning the Mississippi College Season Opener Friday evening.

The Lady Toppers saw four women hit the podium in the first-place victory at a team time of 1:24:39, led by the top runner in the SSAC Elle Hamilton (SR/Shannon, Miss.). Hamilton finished 2nd with a time of 15:43, followed by Leah Johnson (JR/Lumberton, Miss.) at 16:17 in 4th, Ami Sherif (FR/Memphis, Tenn.) at 17:17 in 11th and Maria Favela (FR/New Albany, Miss.) clipping the tape at 17:33 in 13th.

Jackson State finished the race in second as a team at 1:24:45, followed by Millsaps in third at 1:26:30. NCAA DI programs Miss. Valley St., Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alcorn St. were all in the race but posed little issues for the talented Topper program.

Aliyah Kline (SO/Gautier, Miss.) would finish 17th at 17:47, Sarah Duley (SO/New Albany, Miss.) finished 20th at 17:54 and Alyssa Moore (FR/Mantachie, Miss.) ended in 22nd at 17:57. 80 runners participated in the 4K event.

McCall Mullins (SO/Oxford, Miss.) finished the race at 18:00 flat, Elizabeth Baty (SO/Vina, Ala.) finished in 21:06 and Savannah Clayton (FR/Booneville, Miss.) finished at 22:17.

"I'm really proud of how our ladies started the season at this event," BMC head coach Phillip Laney said. "I was very pleased with how our freshman raced, because it's always questionable how younger runners will answer the call this early in the season against strong running programs. Our upperclassmen also ran a great race, so that gives the whole team confidence moving forward in the season."

Laney, who is no stranger to winning and one of the top NAIA women's XC coaches in the nation, is a multiple conference coach of the year and multiple conference champion coach.

The Lady Toppers next race at the UNA Invitational Sept. 7 at McFarland Park in Florence, Ala.

dillon.barnes@journalinc.com

Twitter: @SS_Sports_

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