The men’s and women’s cross country teams earned three top-50 finishes at the 2018 Spartan Invitational in East Lansing on Friday, Sept. 15. The meet hosted hundreds of runners from Division I all the way to community college schools. The Cardinals had two men finish in the top-50, while the women had one.
The men split their roster up between the Sept. 8 meet at Calvin and this past weekend’s meet in East Lansing.
“On the men’s side, we’re just trying to see where we’re at,” said men’s and women’s cross country coach Jason Hartmann. “We kind of split our rosters up between the last two meets, and it gives me a better idea to see where they’re at physically and mentally as we go forward.”
On the men’s side, junior Nate Frasier had the best finish with a time of 25:42.5, good for 19th place overall. Senior Parker Eisengruber was also impressive, finishing in 39th overall with a time of 26:15.9.
“I feel good about my performance overall,” Eisengruber said. “It was my first race of this season, so there is a lot to take away from it. Definitely things I need to work on, but also good to get the first race nerves out and move forward.”
Just days after losing women’s distance coach Angelina Ramos, who accepted another coaching position last week, the women’s team was forced to adjust on the fly prior to competition in East Lansing. Senior Allison Dorr was the leading runner for the team, finishing 27th overall with a time of 22:45.0.
“The women definitely impressed me as far as handling all the change in the last six days, so I was pretty impressed with them,” Hartmann said. “They did a great job under the circumstances.”
In Ramos’ absence, Hartmann worked closely with the women’s team all week.
“It was a pretty smooth transition,” he said. “There’s a difference in philosophies, so it’s a bit hard to work on the fly, but to their credit they handled everything really well.”
Other top-100 finishers for the SVSU men were redshirt freshmen Andrew Bond and Jordan Eisengruber, who finished in 67th and 83rd, respectively. On the women’s side, sophomore Morgan Fuerst came in 57th with a time of 23:46.6, while senior Dominique Adams and junior Rebecca Estep finished in 68th and 74th, respectively. Sophomore Jenna Keiser rounded out the top-100 finishers in 76th place.
Hartmann was very complimentary of Estep’s performance.
“I was very excited to see all of my hard work, time and dedication pay off,” Esteo said. “I felt very strong and left everything out on the course. I can’t wait to see what the season will bring. As a whole team, we were very pleased with our results.”
Both teams’ next competitions are in Romeoville, Illinois, on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Lewis Crossover.
“There are several things that are important in the upcoming weeks, but I think the most important will be keeping everyone healthy,” Parker Eisengruber said. “(We need to make) sure that we are getting enough rest so that we can continue to train at a high level and prepare the best we can for our next competition.”