GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLUC) – The Michigan Tech cross country teams put in one of their best collective performances of the season, with the women finishing second and the men finishing third at the 2018 GLIAC Cross Country Championships. Six Michigan Tech runners from both teams earned All-GLIAC honors for finishing inside the top 20 of their respective races.
The Tech women scored 71 points to place second, finishing 23 ahead of third-place Saginaw Valley State and 54 points behind champion Grand Valley State. The Lakers have won the event 18 consecutive years, placing five of their runners inside the top 10.
"We knew that if we put in the work and executed that we would probably finish second," said head coach Jake Isaacson. "But I think it was a little harder than what our women thought it would be. We ended up putting five girls in the top 20 for All-GLIAC, and I think that's huge."
Michigan Tech placed five runners inside the top 20 in the women's race, earning them All-GLIAC honors. Junior Emily Byrd finished seventh in the race, completing the 6k course in a time of 21:47.4 to finish as one of the highest-placing women runners in Michigan Tech history. Senior Liz Bloch (12th, 22:06.5), senior Emily Vigil (15th, 22:37.6), freshman Gabrielle Feber (16th, 22:45.8), and senior Sophia Farquhar (20th, 22:56.8) all earned Second Team All-GLIAC honors.
Also running for Michigan Tech was freshman Michelle Bollini (25th) with a time of 23:03.4 and junior Carly Huggins (26th) with a time of 23:06.2. Senior Robyn Holmes(23:08.0), junior Sarah Goble (23:23.0), junior Madisyn Estkowski (23:49.9), junior Julia Manzano (24:10.3), and sophomore Katherine Schneider (24:18.0) also competed in the conference championship meet.
The Black and Gold men finished third for the second straight year, scoring 112 points to finish 46 points ahead of fourth-place Wayne State and 72 points behind second-place Saginaw Valley State. Grand Valley State won the GLIAC men's title for the 17th time, scoring 20 points by placing four runners inside the top five.
"All year I've been jabbing at the men that they've got to step up, and come race day I'm almost more proud of the men because we were supposed to take sixth," said Isaacson. "We had our team meeting last night and I said 'if you guys want it, you have to take it,' and from the gun they got out and were in front of just about every other team's pack outside of Grand Valley and Saginaw."
Freshman Braden Reichl finished sixth with a time of 25:09.7, the highest finish by a male runner at the GLIAC Championships in program history, to earn him First Team All-GLIAC honors. Freshman Clayten Sayen narrowly missed out on an All-GLIAC finish, placing 21st with a time of 25:59.2, followed by freshman Zach Werth (22nd) with a time of 26:05.4, sophomore Luke Moore (27th) with a time of 26:33.3, and freshman Robbie Watling (36th) with a time of 26:44.4.
Also running for the Huskies was sophomore Logan Lukonic (37th) with a time of 26:45.9, freshman Ben Passolt (50th) with a time of 27:16.4, freshman Dutch Schaeferwith a time of 27:51.9, junior Bernard Kluskens with a time of 20:02.6, freshman Kristoffer Vollset with a time of 28:05.4, and freshman Ben Holland with a time of 28:54.1.
The Huskies will take the next two weeks to recover and train for the 2018 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championships in Hillsdale, Michigan. The event, hosted by Hillsdale College, will be a 10k race for both the men and the women. The Michigan Tech women finished eighth and the men finished ninth at last year's race.