The cross country teams placed ninth out of 14 at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships in Evansville, Indiana, over the weekend.
The University of Southern Indiana, which took first for the men’s, has won 14 GLVC Championships and has 16 out of the last 17 trophies.
Head coach Tim Schwegler said the GLVC is the hardest meet the teams have seen so far this season. The National Collegiate Athletic Association Midwest Regionals, which is in two weeks, will be the teams next difficult meet.
“Our focus … the next two weeks of regionals is try to beat some of those conference teams that we should’ve beat on Saturday,” Schwegler said. “It was pouring rain, you know it was not great conditions. But everyone ran in them, so it was just who wanted it the most. Obviously, I guess we didn’t want it was much as some of the other schools did.”
The women ran a 6k race followed by the men’s 8k at the Angel Mounds Cross Country Course.
“Overall, we were disappointed with how we finished. I think we’re good enough to be fifth in the women and seventh in the men,” Schwegler said. “We just didn’t execute the race line very well and it cost us.”
In the women’s division, the University of Southern Indiana won with 48 points. Southern Baptist University, which is new to the conference this year, were the runners-up, finishing with 56 points. The Bulldogs were two points away from Drury University and ended the 6k 39 points ahead of Lindenwood University. Junior Madeline Bostick came in 22nd, completing the course in 23:38, a personal record for her on that course.
“It feels awesome to have raced so well,” Bostick said. “I had a lot of fun in that race. It rained all day so the course was covered in water. There was ankle deep water in some areas. To be able to PR and perform the way I did given those conditions, I’m very proud of how I performed. And to be able to help out my team, that was awesome, as well. My teammates are so supportive and motivating.”
For the men’s 8k, the University of Southern Indiana came in first with 47 points, while the University of Illinois Springfield came in second with 53 points. Junior Thomas Cormier finished 35th with a time of 26:44. Freshman Nathan Key was right behind him, finishing 37th with a time of 26:47.
“As a team, we were slightly disappointed,” Key said. “We felt we could have finished a few places higher. Everyone still gave their best effort and I’m proud of the other guys. I felt good about my performance. My goal was to get top 50 and I ended up getting 37, so I was happy. I wanted to run a personal best but conditions limited that. I still ran a solid time and I know in better conditions I could have gotten a personal best.”
In two weeks, the team will run on the Angel Mounds Cross Country Course again in Evansville for the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional. In the meantime, Schwegler said the teams will be working on what it means to step up and be a student athlete.