The cross country men’s and women’s teams failed to secure spots in the NCAA Championships Friday, finishing 12th and 14th, respectively at the Great Lakes Regional meet.
Both teams and individual runners were hoping to extend their season by placing high enough but came up short.
This meet marks the end of the season for CMU, though Director of Cross Country Willie Randolph said he was pleased with his team for competing all season long.
“I’m proud of the athletes going out there and competing to the best of their ability,” Randolph said. “We are very proud of the kids for working hard the entire year and are very excited moving forward.”
Sophomore Kyle Stacks led the way for the men. He finished 46th with a time of 32:16.
Senior Jason Drudge followed close behind in 50th with a time of 32:21. This was Drudge’s final race as a member of the cross-country program.
Rounding out the top three finishers for CMU was sophomore Ethan Lievense who placed 77 th finish in a time of 32:21.
Today’s meet also marked the end of senior Matt Lutzke’s CMU cross country career. He placed 88th with a time of 32.33. Junior Nathan Huff finished in 33:15, placing him 99th, and sophomore Ben Wynsma crossed the finish line in 138th place with a time of 34:07.
Randolph remains optimistic for the program’s future and said he liked what he saw out of his freshmen throughout the year.
“They were committed, hard-working and their future is bright with the program as they continue to mature,” Randolph said. “They had to make a big adjustment coming from the high school level.”
Leading the group for the women was junior Krista Parks. She placed 66th, finishing in 21:46.
Seniors Maddie Ribant (22:07) and Veronica Garcia (22:12) wrapped up their CMU cross-country careers as they finished 90th and 97th, respectively. Freshmen Alyssa Dyer, Kelly Schubert and Bailey Parmelee, and junior Shelby Thren rounded out the field for CMU. Dyer had a time of 22:13, while Schubert ran a 22:15, Parmelee ran a 22:44 and Thren finished in 22:52.
Wisconsin finished first in the men’s race with 43 points, while Michigan came in first for the women with 41 points.
Ohio’s Julie Accurso finished first overall for the women after running a 20:07, while Mohamed Ahmed from Wisconsin finished first in the men’s race with a time of 30:37.
After a season of ups and downs, Randolph is all positive and wants to use mistakes made as learning opportunities for his team.
“This was a season of growth with good days and bad days,” Randolph said. “All of the things we learned this season will help us in the future and we have to take negative memories and turn them into positive ones moving forward. We have to keep all things in perspective and continue to grow.”