The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Cross Country Teams traveled all the way to Grand Rapids, Michigan this past week to compete in the Greater Lakes Challenge where they faced their Mid-South Conference (MSC) rival Shawnee State. The Cumberland men competed in the 8K event while the women's team competed in the 5K event. Both the men and women's teams had several personal records and had some outstanding finishes. The men's team finished 7th out of 37 schools while the women's team finished 13th out of 33 teams.
The first Patriot to cross the line for the first time this season and as a freshman in the men's 8k race was Stephen Sartoris (Dayton, OH) who ran a time of 25:46 and finished 24th overall out of 387 total runners. Not far behind Sartoris coming in 29th place and only seven seconds behind was junior Jonathan Gears (Andover, OH) with a time of 25:53. Donald Whyte (Miamisburg, OH) finished in 61st place with a time of 26:30. Following Whyte was another freshman on the team Sam Beal (Beavercreek, OH) who finished fourth for the Patriots with a time of 26:35 in 69th place. Behind Sam Beal was Sam Meredith (Andover, OH) who raced across the finish line with a time of 26:50 coming in 84th place. Next up was Cory Heslin (Louisville, KY) who finished in 140th place with a time of 27:29. Finishing out the men's top seven team was Eric Phillips (New Castle, KY) who had an amazing race running an impressive 27:35 and finishing in 154th place.
The Patriots finished in 7th place out of 37 teams totaling 237 points. The Bears of Shawnee State placed 4th totaling 113 points, but the Patriots will use these next two weeks to train hard as they will face the Bears for the Conference Championship title.
The Patriot ladies competed in the women's 5k event. Finishing first for UC was freshman Madison Peace (Walton, KY) who finished in 52nd place with a time of 19:09 out of 363 girls. Sydney Freeman (Corbin, KY) finished in 73rd place running an impressive personal record with a time of 19:23. The ladies pair of freshman twins Meg McGaha (Beavercreek, OH) and Maureen McGaha (Beavercreek, OH) were next to cross the line, as Meg came in at 19:42, while Maureen came in at 20:02 almost breaking 20 minutes, finishing 92nd and 123rd respectively. Captain Shelby Gibbons (Hamersville, OH) finished in 147th place with a time of 20:13. There were two more Patriots who finished off the top 7 in the race which were Bonnie Nutt (Phillips, WI) and Annmarie Lake (Mason, OH) who placed 198th and 201st respectively with times of 20:50 and 20:51. These were also the fastest times these ladies have run thus far this season and so far in their collegiate career.
The Patriot ladies finished in 13th place out of 33 teams totaling 416 points. Rivals of Shawnee State finished in 6th place totaling 179 points. The Patriots are hoping to perform well at the Mid-South Conference Championships in hopes of capturing a trip to nationals.
The Patriots Cross Country team will be traveling to Rio Grande, OH in two weeks for the Mid-South Conference Championships where they will face conference rival Shawnee State on November 9th once again.
For more information on the cross country team or Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article by Danielle Hoop, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant