CC men win regional; women third - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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CC men win regional; women third

LCC cross country

LCC sophomore Kiera Smith approaches the finish at the LCC Invitational at Grand Woods Park earlier this season.  Photo by Kaitlyn Delaney

Michael Leek

By Michael Leek
Sports Editor

The LCC cross country teams both had excellent showings at the regional championship meet on Friday, Oct. 27 in Byron Center.

The men’s team won the first-place medal, having all 10 of its runners finish in the top 25 out of 120 runners. The Stars final score was 21 points. The next closest school, Southwestern Michigan, finished with 82. A total of 15 men’s teams competed.

LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said the men’s team did extremely well.

“Just about everyone ran their fastest race of the year,” Robinson said. “The course, because of all the rain we had, was a little soggy and soft. Their times would have been even better if we had a dry course.”

LCC sophomore Michael Dennis finished in first, running an 8K time of 25:04.7. Sophomore teammate Gabriel Phillips finished in second place in 25:25.3.

Dennis said this race was really special and that he had to focus on running a smart race to get first place.

“I never have won a large meet such as this, so it was a great experience that I’ll never take for granted,” Dennis said. “There were a lot of talented runners who also were competing to win the race, so I started conservatively and followed some of them for a bit, until a mile and a half in, where I made a surge.”

Phillips said it felt good to exceed their coach’s expectations.

“We went into the meet seeing it as a stepping stone of becoming national champions,” Phillips said.

The LCC women’s team finished in third place out of 15 teams. The Stars had a final score of 100 in a closely contested top three.

Southwestern Michigan finished in second with a score of 95, and St. Clair County won with a score of 80.

LCC sophomore Jana Stiffler finished in third place overall, running a 5K time of 19:34.5. Sophomore Alyssa Williams finished in 12th for LCC, and freshman teammate Lily Kogut was in 23rd.

Robinson said the LCC women performed very well.

“Jana Stiffler, I think competitively, had her best race of the year,” Robinson said.

Stiffler said the race was an amazing opportunity.

“Every race is different emotionally,” Stiffler said. “When it comes to big ones like regionals, though, there is definitely a higher stress level. Not only because you want to do good for yourself, but more importantly for your team.”

The men’s and women’s national championship race is being held in Huntsville, Ala., on Nov. 11 and will be the Stars’ last meet of the season.



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