For ONU cross-country squad, it's one and two at Midwest Classic
Olivet Nazarene University cross-country coach Mike McDowell got his runners off to a quick start this year, with the men’s side claiming the title at the Midwest Classic and the women’s team taking second place.
“I’m really pleased with the performance,” McDowell told the Kankakee Times. “We are a really young team, and it’s a tough thing when kids come in and are learning to run at the collegiate level. We have more freshman and sophomores than anything else, and we’re a very young team this year.”
At the Classic, the Tigers were led by Wesley Meyer, who came in third in the 8K race with a time of 26:22.26. Tyler Banks finished in fourth at 26:55.04, and Matt Meehan took fifth at 26:55.42. Zachary Bishop finished in seventh place, Tyler Gabriele took eighth, and Zachary Emptage finished ninth.
McDowell said he couldn’t pick out just one star from the meet.
“We have a whole group of guys that really work well together,” he said. “They all performed well and wanted to help each other out to get the team wins.”
Saint Xavier University (SXU) took second place, and Greenville College came in third.
On the women’s side, Alexis Beezhold came in second place in the 5K with a time of 19:48.99, Karalynn Brock took fourth at 20:07.91, and Angela Budach claimed sixth at 20:17.63.
SXU won the meet, and Greenville College took third place.
McDowell said he was happy with the way the team performed and indications for the future.
“I think we’re going to improve a lot,” he said. “We are the type of team that has a lot of upward mobility. Opposed to last year and before that, we don’t have any individuals who are in it for themselves. We have a lot of team players, and everyone just works really hard.”
McDowell said this year's team are filled with freshmen and sophomores and going forward wants to see the young members continue to grow.
“We want to continue getting a solid base under us and developing a competitive edge," he said. "A number of kids had to learn how to race at the collegiate level, and this first meet was really the first stepping stone for those guys."
The Tigers will compete throughout September and October before taking part in the conference championships in early November.
For more information about the Tigers cross-country season, visit www.onutigers.com.