FAIRVIEW, PA. – Bolstered by a pair of top-three finishes, the Lake Erie College men's cross country team opened the 2012 season with a second-place finish Saturday (Sept. 1) at the Gannon-Mercyhurst Invitational at Pleasant Ridge Park.
Redshirt junior Cody Lancaster (Eastlake, Ohio/North) made his return to the course after missing all of last season with a knee injury and took second place with a time of 27:53.4 to pace the Storm. He was followed by freshman Nick Hall (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) in third place, running 28:09.3 in his college debut.
The Storm men scored 60 points, trailing co-host Gannon University by 17 points. Notre Dame College placed third with 68 points, followed by Penn State University-Behrend (75) and Mercyhurst University (103).
"I thought our guys ran pretty well on a tough course in very difficult conditions," said head coach Bryan Harmon. "It was a very humid day, especially right around that late morning/early afternoon start time, but I thought they did well for the first time out. Obviously it was great to have Cody back out there competing and to see Nick be right up there and push him as he has done in practice the past few weeks."
The Storm women placed fourth of four teams on the day. Junior Shanita Fluker (Flint, Mich./Southwestern) was the only LEC runner in the top ten, placing eighth overall with a time of 21:24.9. Freshman Karissa Burns (Van Wert, Ohio/Lincolnview) placed 18th overall in 22:21.3.
Gannon swept the team titles, winning the women's competition with 30 points, followed by Penn State-Behrend (40), Mercyhurst (61) and Lake Erie (100).
The Storm will be off for a week before returning to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Penn State-Behrend Invitational.