Placing five runners in the top 12 scoring spots, the Lewis-Clark State College men’s cross country team captured the title in its own LCSC Invitational at
On the women’s side,
In the men’s 8-kilomter run, which consisted of three laps on a hilly and gravel course and then two laps on both dirt and pavement before a sandy beach finish, the Warriors captured the title with 39 points, while
While LCSC did have three runners finish in the top 10, including Mickael Sopel’s third-place finish, it was the plight of No. 5 runner Eric Tuwei that sealed the deal for the Warrior. Tuwei was one of the four leaders who started to spring to the finish line on the sandy beach a lap early. The four leaders eventually were led back to the track, but had spent plenty of energy on what they thought was a final kick. Tuwei, however, had enough left to go another lap and still finish 12th among the scoring runners, the best finish among the four.
“I’m really pleased with Eric because he thought he had a shot at winning going into today but went off course,” LCSC coach Mike Collin said. “It happens. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. Psychologically, he still finished strong.”
Sopel, who is normally the team’s No. 4 or No. 5 finisher, had his best race in a Warrior uniform and crossed the line in 26 minutes and 4 seconds. Hershel Sanchey of
LCSC also had
“We had a 38-second gap between our No. 1 and 5 runners and that might be the best gap we’ve had all year,” Collins said. “I thought we ran a good race. We knew in the team standings it would be us and
The LCSC men are ranked No. 10 in the NAIA, while
Collins said the new gravel on the course made it fairly slow as the men’s times were nearly a minute behind the times posted last year. He said the women’s course also was slower, but even with that, Rachel Brewer, who ran unattached, set the course record in 16:55 over 5-kilometers, while Andrija Baker-McCurry of the Eastside Track Club was second in 17:33. The first scoring runner to cross the line was Stephanie Helm of the
“Really in both races we knew it would be close with
If any Warrior runner had finished one spot higher, LCSC and C of I would have tied for the title. Collins said it’s easy to play the “what-if” game, especially when looking down the result sheet. In two different areas, a C of I runner finished one spot ahead of an LCSC runner, including one by eight-tenths of a second. If either LCSC runner had finished ahead of the C of I runner, the Warriors would have won by one point.
“It’s disappointing, but the nice thing for us, barring something drastic happening at the conference meet, is that we’ll be going to nationals,” Collins said. “And at nationals, every runner counts so if you pass a runner, it’s a point. Hopefully today is a lesson learned.”
The top finishing men’s and women’s teams in the Frontier Conference races qualify for the NAIA national meet. The conference race will be held on Nov. 8 on this same
Freshman Stephanie Shuel finished ninth overall to pace LCSC in a time of 18:45, while teammate Lindsay Szybura, a junior, was 10th in 18:48. Teammates Tayler Harrington and Kyli Astle finished 12th and 13th overall.
The Warriors will play host to the Doc Sears Fun Run next Saturday and then the conference race in two weeks. The national meet is set for Nov. 22 at
(click here for complete results)