MOUNT PLEASANT - The 2012 Central Michigan cross country season is officially underway following the 27th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial Friday morning at the Pleasant Hills Golf Course.
Redshirt freshman Nate Ghena led the way for the men’s team with a 10th-place finish on the 5K course in 15:58.56, while redshirt freshman Alyssa Dyer paced the Chippewas women with a 15th-place finish in 19:11.95.
"We're trying to get ourselves ready for the most important part of the season, the later part of the season," director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. "We weren't looking for a lot of great things - we were looking for some production. We saw some good things and some things we still have to work on, considering it's the beginning of the season."
The meet served as an opportunity for many of the younger or less experienced runners to gain some experience, as well as for some of the seniors to get one final meet at home. The full complement of runners will compete beginning in the next two weeks.
For the men, senior Matt Lutzke finished just behind Ghena in 12th in 16:02.60. Redshirt freshmen Monte Scott finished 29th in 16:44.15 and 30th in 16:48.42 in their first official career races as Chippewas.
Senior Veronica Garcia was the second member of the women’s team to cross the line, finishing 18th in 19:21.36. Fellow senior Jacquelyn McEnhill finished 34th in 20:33.46, and redshirt freshman Shelby Thren ran 35th in 20:39.19 in her first official race as a Chippewa.
The Chippewas travel to Wisconsin, home of the defending men’s cross country national champions, for the Badger Opener Friday, Sep. 7, in Madison, Wis.