BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – The Lake Erie College cross country teams traveled to Michigan to compete in the GLIAC Championships, held by Ferris State University on Saturday (Oct. 22) afternoon.
The men competed in a 8k while the women competed in a 6k on the course of Katki Golf Course in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Jordan Pritchard (Painesville, Ohio / Lake Catholic) had the top finish for the men as he finished 20th overall in the race. His time of 25:47.3 was closely followed by DJ Graham (Gomer, Ohio / Columbus Grove), who finished 27th with a time of 26:01.6. Vince Horning (Stow, Ohio / Stow) finished third out of the Storm men as he ran 39th overall with a time of 26:31.4. About a minute later, Logan Ebersole (Chesterville, Ohio / Highland)(27:32.6) and George Lesnak (Mantua, Ohio / Crestwood) (27:42.4) crossed the line in 73rd and 79th, respectively. Brandon Bryan (Geneva, Ohio / Geneva) finished 104th overall with a final time of 29:09.0 and Austin Jones (Botkins, Ohio / Botkins) rounded out the team with a time of 29:54.1 and 11th overall finish.
"The men have made some big improvements," said Storm Head Coach Grant Lofdahl. We had a solid race, but we're capable of running a little better than we did today. That said, taking seventh was a goal of ours back in August, so that was great to see. Jordan ran a tremendous last mile and he out-kicked several guys to sneak into the top-20. Logan, George, and Brandon really gave great efforts out there, and our two seniors D.J. and Vince hung in there and ran tough. They'll all be motivated to finish the season with their best race of the season in two weeks at regionals."
As a team, the men finished seventh out of 14th teams. The finish of seventh in the team standings was a program best.
Gina Henley (Akron, Ohio / Akron) was the top finisher for the Storm women's team as she came across the line with a time of 25:14.9 in 77th place. Catherine Beisel (Geneva, Ohio / Geneva) crossed the line in 86th place with a time of 25:47.4. Hailey VanHoy (Geneva, Ohio / Geneva) finished just behind in 89th place at 25:57.4. Sage Beauregard (Clarkston, Mich. / Clarkston/Albion) (100th-26:45.4) and Jayla Lindsey (117th-30:10.2) rounded out the top five times for the Storm. Emily Kotfis (East Liverpool, Ohio / East Liverpool) finished 123rd overall with a 33:34.5 time.
""Our women really stepped up today," said Lofdahl. We were 16th last year, so 13th is a solid finish and a nice improvement. Gina continued to lead the way, but the key today was that Catherine, Hailey, and Sage closed the gap and we only had 90 seconds between out top-4. Last year we didn't have a runner in the top-100 at GLIACs, and this year we had four."
The women finished 13th out of 15th teams, a program best for in the final year in the GLIAC.
Lake Erie will participate in the NCAA Midwest Regional in two weeks (Nov. 5) at Southern Indiana University.