Kyle Stacks, Krista Parks among top finishers at Badger Open


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Bethany Walter/Staff Photographer Sophomore Nate Ghena (center) runs on Friday morning during the Jeff Drenneth Memorial meet at Pleasant Hills Golf Course. Ghena finished in tenth place with a time of 15:58.56.

The cross-country team has high expectations for this season and came out running like it to begin the 2012 season.

All seven participating members of the men’s team finished in the top-15 today at the Badger Open in Madison, Wis. Six members of the women’s team finished in the top-25.

“It is important to hold up with expectations, but it only matters what they do on the course as a team, together,” director of cross-country Willie Randolph said.

The men’s raced a 6K and the women raced a 5K at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.

Finishing first among his teammates and second among the entire competition was sophomore Kyle Stacks. He finished his race in 18:52, finishing only two seconds behind Wisconsin junior Alex Brill.

“I felt real good and I was sick earlier in the week, so I felt a bit weird and a little nervous,” Stacks said.

Stacks fought through his sickness throughout the week and he said he felt better than he has in his college career.

“It [the illness] just took a lot of rest and vitamins,” Stacks said. “Comparing to last year, I feel much better; I feel much more confident and stronger while running.”

On the women’s side, it was Krista Parks finishing first among her team and seventh among the competition.

“I felt pretty good running today. I’m tired from the workouts, everybody is training hard and we are all tired,” Parks said. “But it feels nice to get out there and run well with my teammates.”

While Parks is running, she said she reminds herself of why she is running and that is what keeps her going.

“I remind myself that I am strong, I remind myself who I am running for and who I’m running with,” Parks said. “My teammates work hard for me and I work hard for my teammates.”

Randolph has a certain focus for his teams going in to each competition for a solid and successful season.

“The biggest thing is that we take one competition at a time,” Randolph said. “Training helps lead us to our ultimate goal, but it takes patience to keep our focus and dedication together as a team.”

The Chippewa cross-country team is scheduled to meet Friday Sept. 14 in East Lansing for the Spartan Invitational.


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