MADISON, Wis. - The Central Michigan men’s and women’s cross country teams battled against the toughest teams in the region and temperatures in the mid-40s to finish 12th and 14th, respectively, at Friday’s NCAA Great Lakes Regional Meet at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course.
Sophomore Kyle Stacks and senior Jason Drudge, finishing in 46th and 50th, respectively, led the men to a team score of 340, and junior Krista Parks paced the women to a 453-point showing with a 66th-place finish, but neither the teams’ or individuals’ strong performances were enough to qualify for the NCAA National Championship next weekend.
“We're proud of the way our runners competed today,” director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said."They competed to the best of their abilities and gave everything they had against some of the best runners in the country.
"Cross country season may now be over, but unlike every other sport we still have two more opportunities this year to qualify for NCAA Nationals with both the indoor and the outdoor track and field seasons. The runners can build upon this season and continue to strive toward their goals."
Stacks crossed the line first for the Chippewas in 32:16. After running with the lead pack through the first 4k of the race, Stacks fell off the lead pace. Stacks was the 10th-highest finishing sophomore in the race, and the eighth-fastest MAC representative in the race.
Drudge, running in his final cross country race at CMU, was next for the Chippewas in 32:21.
Senior Matt Lutzke, like Drudge in his final career race, rounded out the scoring lineup with an 88th-place finish in 33:04.
In the women’s race Parks ran a 21:46 to finish 66th. She led a group of four veterans and a regionals newcomer who finished in the top 100.
Redshirt freshman Alyssa Dyer, running in her first regional race, finished just behind Garcia in 98th in 22:13.
Freshman Kelly Schubert just missed the top 100, crossing in 102nd in a time of 22:15.
Wisconsin’s Mohammed Ahmed claimed the individual title in the men’s race in 30:37, leading the Badgers to a team title with a score of 43.
Juli Accurso of Ohio, a fellow MAC school, won the women’s race in 20:07. Michigan took the team title with a score of 41.
The Chippewas now take a well-deserved break before they begin the indoor season with a December 7th visit to Eastern Michigan.