In a final tune-up for the Nationals series, a contingent of Spartan men and women drove an hour to Mount Pleasant to compete in the Chip Trails Invitational. Both the Spartan men and women completely dominated the invite, with both teams taking home easy victories. Even though both courses were inaccurately marked, nullifying any results, Both teams raced with passion and verve in route to their wins.
The first race was the men’s 8(?)K, initially billed as a showdown between Riley VanPelt and Lucas Werner. That showdown did come to pass as they took the race out quickly, however, fellow Spartans Ben Lambert and Wes Diener were not far behind. As the race wore on, Werner opened up a small lead on VanPelt, and Diener continued to give chase, closing the gap. In the final 500 meters, a shout of “come on!” echoed over the course as Diener passed VanPelt heading for the line. At the end, neither could catch Werner who paced the race and the Spartan men, and was followed by a kicking VanPelt in second and Diener in third. Rounding out the top 7 was Ben Lambert, freshman Matt Sowles, Colin Crusoe, and Jacob Broman.
On the ladies side in the 6(?)K, a similar story unfolded. The Spartan women were out early and in front, and stayed that way throughout the race. Usual suspects Charlotte Etienne, Amanda Montgomery, and Bailey Montgomery paced the Spartans, while 6K debutant Gina Pellillo followed closely behind. At the finish, it was obvious that the Spartan women dominated the race, placing four in the top 10. Etienne, who finished second overall, paced the team. Rounding out the top 7 were A. Montgomery, B. Montgomery, Pellillo, Robin DeClercq, Rianna Pfau, and Liz Sculli.
All in all, the Spartans who showed up at Mount Pleasant, from those who wanted to run a good time to those who “wanted to do it for Bill Clinton”, left satisfied with both individual and team performances. Jacob Young updated those at home via Twitter to the exploits of our runners. Congratulations to all who competed today, stay tuned for a regionals update soon!
Over the weekend, the Spartan men and women drove down to Huron Meadows Metropark to compete in some NIRCA action. In a six-team invitational featuring the Spartans, Wolverines, Chippewas, Rockets, Redbirds, and Falcons, the Spartans once again had a good showing. They left the metropark with a second place finish for the men and another first place finish for the women.
Contrary to the usual season running, the women took to the course first. Following a usual trend, however, the Spartan women were out early and in numbers. Usual suspects Erin Zimmer, Tarah Thompson, and Charlotte Etienne were in the top five early, tracked closely by newcomer Megan Schwartz and standout freshman Amanda Montgomery. These ladies did not give up their hard earned positions, and led the Spartan women to victory. Other noteworthy performers were two freshman, Bailey Montgomery (25:29) in 17th and Sarah Ausum (26:42) in 24th. The top seven for the women were Zimmer (23:22, 2nd), Thompson (23:42, 3rd), Etienne (24:14, 5th), Schwartz (24:29, 8th), A. Montgomery (24:36, 10th), Nicole Mosteller (24:38, 11th) and B. Montgomery (25:29, 17th). The women had a 73 second split on five.
Shortly thereafter, the men took to the course for some 8k action. At the onset, the Cerberus of Jacob Young, Lucas Werner, and Tall Paul Salach were in a tight pack, one that would not falter throughout the race. Riley VanPelt, and two freshman Alec Reilly and Joe Hegger followed them, rounding out the seven for the men. The Spartans stayed strong through the rolling hills of this race as they took a true cross-country course. Other notable finishers in the race were freshman Colin Crusoe, finishing 8th on the team, and former all-state runner Dietrich Hittner making his 8k debut, finishing 9th on the team. The top seven for the men were Young (27:40, 6th), Salach (27:41, 8th), Werner (27:51, 11th), VanPelt (28:25, 19th), Reilly (28:51, 24th), Hegger (28:54, 25th), and President Ben Lambert (29:20, 29th). The men had a split of 45 seconds on five.
Again, congratulations to all those who competed, there were many PRs across the board. Both teams ran exceptionally well and left with two more trophies. Both teams figure to keep running well heading into regionals and nationals, stay tuned for further updates. Until next week – Club or Die!
Last weekend, the Spartan men and women took to Grand Woods Park for some early morning cross-country action. In a seven-team invitational featuring the Spartans, Wolverines, Fighting Irish, Chippewas, Lakers, Rockets, and Ramblers, the Spartan men and women both showed out in a big way on the 5k course. Overall, the men finished second and the women took home first place honors as teams.
The men kicked off the day after a rousing National Anthem sung by our own Lucas Werner. After the whistle started the race, yells of “Go Green! Go White!” and “Club or Die!” sounded over the opening 100 meters from Spartan men clad in retro uniforms. Jacob Young paced the Spartans early, followed closely by Paul Salach and Lucas Werner. As the race spread out, it became apparent that the Wolverines and Spartans were the top two teams, with the Wolverines pack placing ahead of the Spartan Pack and winning the meet 19 points to 55 points. Race highlights included Ben Lambert good for 7th on the team, running 17:48, and freshman Jacob Broman running 18:04 and placing 9th on the team. The Spartan top five included three medalists: Young, 6th overall (16:32), Salach, 11th overall (16:44), and Werner, 12th overall (16:45). Fourth man Riley VanPelt finished just out of the medal race in 16th (16:53), and Wes Diener (17:15) was 27th overall as the fifth man.
After a short delay, the women took the course for a rousing race. The Spartan women, unranked by NIRCA, were looking to show those folks down at the University of Illinois that they were for real, and boy, did this team deliver. At the whistle, the women got out hard, evidenced by Erin Zimmer and Tarah Thompson being 2nd and 3rd respectively at 800 meters, positions they would not relinquish. A solid pack followed shortly thereafter, and held throughout the duration of the race. All in all, the Spartan women finished ahead of the 4th ranked Wolverines, 26 points to 50 points. The entire women’s top seven medaled, led by Zimmer (18:57) finishing 2nd overall. Zimmer was followed by Thompson (19:14) in 3rd, Charlotte Etienne (19:34) 5th, Amanda Montgomery (19:54) 7th, Erin O’Donnel (19:58) 9th, Nicole Mosteller (20:03) 10th, and Bailey Montgomery (20:29) 15th.
Overall, 64 Spartan men and women raced, leading to a first place finish for the women and second for the men. Congratulations to all who competed, and a big thank you to Ben Lambert, Natalie Whise, and Paul Salach, as well as the rest of the executive board, for putting on a wonderful race!