EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sophomore Kyle Stacks finished in the top 10 and junior Krista Parks in the top 25 for Central Michigan's men’s and women’s cross country teams, respectively, at the Spartan Invitational at the Forest Akers East Golf Course on Friday afternoon.
Stacks was the top sophomore with a ninth-place overall finish in the team’s first 8k race of the season in 25:07, while Parks paced the women with a 22nd place finish in 21:55 in the women’s first 6k race. Each of the races featured more than 300 runners, easily the largest races in which the Chippewas have competed. Both races were unscored.
“We had some okay things happen, but it wasn’t exactly what we expected,” director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. “We need to have the pack run closer together, so we have some things to work on. We’re going to take it one step at a time at the beginning and focus on being ready at the end. We learned some things today and we’re going to focus on being ready to go when it counts.”
Senior Jason Drudge worked his way up through the pack throughout the race to finish 19th in 25:20. Senior Matt Lutzke finished 51st in 25:55, followed closely by sophomore Ethan Lievense in 25:58 (57th), sophomore Tanner Pesonen in 26:02 (63rd) and redshirt freshman Nate Ghena in 26:03 (67th).
Eastern Michigan’s Terefe Ejigu won the men’s race in 24:28.
On the women’s side, freshman Bailey Parmelee finished 47th in 22:35 in her first career 6k race. Senior Maddie Ribant crossed the line 60th in 22:46, and sophomore Kelly Schubert finished 77th in 22:56.
Unattached runner Sara Kroll won the women’s race in 21:10.
The Chippewas will send a smaller team of runners to the Northwood Open next Saturday before traveling to Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational the following Saturday.