SVSU’s men’s cross country team beat all of its Division II competition in the Greater Louisville Classic on Sept. 30.
Racing against some big-name schools for the second consecutive meet, the men took first among Division II groups.
The Cardinal men finished with a total team score of 63 points. Hillsdale followed right behind at 64 points, while Missouri S&T rounded out the top three. The Lady Cardinals, meanwhile, finished third in their three-team group that included GVSU and Hillsdale.
Junior runner Parker Eisengruber led the Cardinals, finishing sixth at 25:26.50. Sophomore Austen Mandernach followed close behind in ninth-place with a finishing time of 25:44.29. Timmy Kimball, another sophomore, rounded out the top 20 at a time of 26:09.11. The young freshman Brandon Bohling, who led the men the previous two races, finished 21st, three seconds behind Kimball.
Senior Clyde Anderson, who finished 14th with a time of 25:59.65, has confidence in what his team can do to finish the season.
“At MSU, both Parker (Eisengruber) and I ran unattached,” Anderson said. “That kept some of our team’s potential in the dark. I think MSU served to help shake some rust off and prep us for 8K this season.”
Anderson added that the team is in a good place to finish out the season.
“Everyone needs to keep focused and showing up to practice ready to train,” he said. “The team has a great mindset right now, and we’re starting to see consistency across our roster.”
The senior also gave credit to his fellow teammates for the first-place finish.
“I personally didn’t have a great race, but what makes us competitive is that we had guys like Mandernach, Kimball and Bohling all around me to fill in any gaps that are made,” Anderson said.
The women competed against far fewer opponents this weekend. With only two other opponents, there was much less room for error, as Grand Valley and Hillsdale took first and second. The ladies, however, had runners like freshman Morgan Fuerst step up. Fuerst, a freshman, took 16th place, finished in 18:47.67.
She credited self-determination and her team for the successes at the race.
“We all finished very close to each other, which means we had really good pack running and we all helped each other get through the race,” Fuerst said. “We will need to continue working hard, pack running, and motivating each other to reach our goals.”
Following Fuerst was fellow freshman Maggie Pawelczyk, finishing 17th with a time of 18:50.37. Sophomore Sydney Kreger finished in the top 20 with a time of 19:15.89, good enough for 19th place. Alicia Tomlin and Darby Meinecke rounded out the field for the Cardinals.
The team has a short break before heading to Lansing for the Lansing Invitational on Friday, Oct. 6.