Career and season–best times were in the hands of some members of the Central Michigan men’s cross country teams Saturday morning at Pre–Nationals in Lousiville, Ky.
Director of cross country Willie Randolph said the season–best finishes were great, but only when the team as a whole succeeds.
“Having season bests is only good when you have accomplished your season goals,” Randolph said. “We’re not excited about it at all, because we have to be able to execute our overall game plan, and we didn’t do that. We’re not excited about our personal records at all. As a coach, there is always room for improvement.”
The men’s team finished 29 of 40 teams in their 8k red-seeded race, which was loaded with eight ranked teams.
“The men’s team needs some work,” Randolph said. “There were two different sides of the story this week between the two teams.”
CMU finished second among Mid–American Conference schools (698 points).
Sophomore Kyle Stacks led the way for the men’s team with a 74th place finish and a career–best time of 24:15.5. He was the 14th fastest sophomore in the race.
Junior Nathan Huff beat his season best by more than a minute and his career–best by four seconds with a time of 24:55.5. He finished third for CMU and 157th overall.
Sophomore Ethan Lievense ran a season–best by more than a minute and a career–best by 22 seconds with a time of 24:57.2 to finish fourth for CMU and 159th overall.
Sophomore Nate Ghena ran a career–best 25:03, finishing 172nd overall.
With only two weeks until the MAC Championships, Randolph said the mental aspect is all that’s left to improve.
“The mental aspect is all that’s left to improve and it will be fixed,” Randolph said. “The competitive aspect for both teams needs to improve so we can keep moving in the right direction. The training aspect will speak for itself, but we need to get the mind to compete and do the things that make the body follow, which will be the main focus over the next two weeks.”
No. 7 Colorado won the men’s race with 72 points, and UTEP freshman Anthony Rotich finished first overall in the men’s 8k red-seeded race with a time of 23:01.
CMU will have a week to rest before heading to Buffalo, N.Y. for the MAC Championships on Oct. 27.