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!