Witt pulls away from field at Eye Opener

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The King University women's cross country team opened its season with a second place finish among NCAA Division II teams at the Eye Opener Invitational on Friday evening. Hannah Witt opened her final season with bang, taking first place at the event which included both Division I and II runners.

Witt, a senior who missed the most of the 2012 season due to injury, headlined the event for the Tornado. She opened the season with a first place overall finish, crossing the line 35 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Witt's personal record time of 18:24 was the second-fastest time in school history, just seven seconds slower than Carrie Nelson's record-setting pace at the 2010 Royal Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte.

"Hannah did a great job all summer and is looking forward to competing at the conference, regional and national level during her senior year," head coach Peter Dalton said.

Fellow senior Evan Ferrell also ran a strong race, finishing 13th overall with a time of 20:20. Kendra Sokol kicked off her final season for the Tornado with a 20th place result, and freshman Tiffany Gargiulo placed 30th in her first collegiate competition.

Among Division II teams, King trailed only Wingate University. Mars Hill wasn't far behind as they recorded a third place finish.

The Tornado return to action on September 20 at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va.