JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – There is a saying that goes "Patience is a virtue," but freshman Tori Gaul (Salisbury, N.C.) has seen an immediate impact for the Carson-Newman cross country team.
Gaul has finished in the top-three in the team standings at all four of the Eagles' meets this season and the freshman will be looking for another high finish at the Louisville Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky.
"I've been really impressed with how I've done this season," Gaul said. "I came into it expecting to be ok in team standings and I've just surpassed what I thought and coach has really helped me get up to that point and I'm coming into the season pretty quick compared to what I've come into in past seasons."
Gaul is not the only Eagle to enter as a freshman and excel. Duncan Sparks (Knoxville, Tenn.) has finished in the top-three in the last two meets. Sophomore Sara Honaker (Mason, Ohio) and junor Hannah Kiser (Cedar Park, Texas) have also set the paces.
"I think not only me, but all the girls, we've all progressed to points that I don't think any of us thought we would reach at the beginning of the season. It's been a pretty outstanding season so far," Gaul said.
Now, coach Tony Parrilla's squad has an opportunity to show its progression on a national stage.
The Louisville Cross Country Classic is one of the most prestigious events in the country. Over 130 teams will be competing in the men's and women's competition, including South Atlantic Conference foes Lenior-Rhyne, Lincoln Memorial University and Tusculum.
Gaul thinks that this weekend's meet plays to the type of team that Parrilla has built this season.
"I think that we are really set up for a pack running team and I think that's what we need to do this weekend is really pack together and run all together how we should. I think that's most what I'm looking forward to," Gaul said of the entire Eagles' squad.
Gaul and the Carson-Newman cross country team take to E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville Saturday afternoon.