HU CC teams both dominate

The Huntington University cross country program proved they’re some of the best teams in the nation Saturday afternoon by sweeping the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede.

On the women’s side, Huntington won the 25-team invitational with 71 points. Emma Wilson continued her dominance by crushing the competition and setting a new course record by clocking in at 16:24.56. She averaged a 5:16.6 mile with no one within 1 minute 15 seconds of her by the time she crossed the finish line.

The University of Illinois transfer was one of three Foresters to claim a top 10 finish along with Saige Norris (18:40.59) and Sydney Lambert (18:52.46) who finished 5th and 8th respectively. Jessica Chojnacki came in next for Coach Nick Johnson by turning in a 19:18.82 for the 20th spot. Rounding out HU’s scoring was Olivia Von Gunten who posted a 37th place time of 19:53.12. Ireland Dodson also had a great showing to finish 51st out of 217 runners in 20:12.68.

Senior Adrien Gentie led the Forester men to its first place finish with 34 points by claiming the individual title in 24:43.97 which proves a new NAIA men’s course record.

Most notable about the men’s 8K was that out of a field of 224 runners, HU’s top six runners all finished in the top 20.

Kent Yoder (25:07.38) and Elijah Chesterman (25:19.61) had remarkable races to take 4th and 5th respectively. Aaron Hendryx finished 10th in 25:41.56. Haile Stutzman was HU’s final point-getter by enjoying 14th place in 26:04.30 while Huntington’s other top 20 finisher was Reece Gibson (26:11.92) who claimed 18th. Austin Liepe ran to a 52nd place finish by turning in a 27:32.70.

“We had outstanding performances on both sides today,” said Coach Johnson. “They came out here to do a job and did just that. I’m really happy with the results especially considering the workload we put in this week and the fact that, between the two teams, we ran without a few key people.”

The Oct. 10 race was just one of two events the Foresters competed in over the weekend as the JV squad made the trip to Mishawaka for the Bethel Invitational on Friday where the men finished 9th and the women took 12th.

Leading the Forester men was Kody Ahrens who navigated the course in 28:20.3 for 38th out of a field of 141 runners. Josiah Sovine finished 41st in 28:29.1. Justin Ayers turned in a 29:26.4 to claim 56th. Wrapping up Huntington’s scoring by finishing 64th and 69th respectively was Justin Edwards (30:27.2) and Paul Bickel (31:19.1). Logan Busz ran to a 77th place finish in 32:01.0.

Cornerstone finished first with 45 points followed by Indiana Wesleyan (57), Grace (98), Spring Arbor (124), St. Francis (Ill.) (130), Siena Heights (166), Saint Francis (198), Bethel (217), HU (268), Maranatha Baptist (298), Judson (308), Rochester (312), IUSB (384) and Governors State (404).

On the women’s side, Isabel Hunter topped Johnson’s crew by finishing 50th out of 162 runners in 11 21:29.6. Erin Manchess claimed 53rd in 21:30.5. Meg McDonald came in next for Huntington by clocking in at 21:53.7 for the 62nd spot.

Megan Miller (22:29.3) and Emma St. Peters (22:30.1) finished within a second of each other to post 74th and 76th place respectively. Shaylynn Reyes rounded out things for HU with her 89th place time of 23:22.0

Indiana Wesleyan and St. Francis (Ill.) tied for the top spot with 48 points with the tiebreaker, based on the finish of each team’s sixth runner, tipping in favor or IWU.

Third place went to Cornerstone (81) followed by Grace (127), Marian (190), Bethel (195), Siena Heights (211), Spring Arbor (219), Judson (247), Indiana Tech (259), Olivet Nazarene (264), HU (315), Saint Francis (360), Rochester (363) and Maranatha Baptist (427).

Huntington has a four-week break until the Crossroads League Championships on November 7.