Young cross-country runners gain experience at annual Jeff Drenth Memorial
The Central Michigan cross-country season kicked off Friday in Mt. Pleasant at the 27th Jeff Drenth Memorial.
Director of cross-country Willie Randolph said he was pleased with what he saw out of the younger runners and is looking forward to a season filled with very high expectations.
“We just wanted to get experience for the underclassmen … it was a solid competition,” Randolph said.
Friday was more of a showcase for the underclassmen, while most of the team’s veterans were there for support to prepare the team for the remainder of the season.
“It was a good opportunity for our underclassmen to learn to be patient within a race and gain experience rather than just training,” Randolph said. “There are still some things we need to work on, but we did see some good things.”
The men’s team began their 5k race at 10 a.m., while the women’s team started at 10:45 a.m.
The women’s team had 11 runners in the field of 60, five of which ran unattached.
Freshman Brooke Morgan ran unattached and finished ninth with a time of 18:54.78. Freshmen Kelly Schubert (19:04.85) and Bailey Parmelee (19:07.68) also ran unattached, finishing 11th and 12th, respectively.
Sophomore Alyssa Dyer led the way for the Chippewas with a 15th-place finish, followed by Senior Veronica Garcia, who crossed the line in 18th place. Dyer ran the 5k in 19:11.95, while Garcia finished in 19:21.36.
Redshirt freshman Shelby Thren finished 35th and posted a time of 20:39.19 in her first race as a Chippewa.
The men’s team had 13 runners in the field of 74, of which five ran unattached Friday. Running unattached was Junior Nathan Huff, who finished seventh with a time of 15:47.86.
Posting a top finish for the CMU men’s team was redshirt Freshman Nate Ghena, who finished 10th and posted a time of 15:58.56.
Senior Matt Lutzke (16:02.60) finished in 12th place for the Chippewas, and freshman Spencer Nousain (16:20.02) finished 21st, running unattached.
Rounding out the top-30 for CMU were sophomores Monte Scott and Alec Hewett, who finished 29th and 30th, respectively. Scott posted a time of 16:44.15, and Hewett finished in 16: 48.42. For Ghena and Scott, it was their first race as Chippewas.
The field consisted of runners from CMU, Michigan State, Northwood, Saginaw Valley State and Alma.
CMU faces tough competition in the weeks ahead, including a trip to defending national champions Wisconsin on Sept. 7 for the Badger Opener in Madison, Wisc. Then, the team will take a trip down the road to East Lansing to face off against MSU in the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14.
“Our meet at Michigan State in a few weeks is really going to show the make up of our team,” Randolph said.
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