Cross country times keep improving - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Cross country times keep improving

XC runner

LCC freshman Jayden Yonchewski tries to overtake an opponent during a race at Grand Woods Park during the LCC Invitational on Sept. 22.  Photo by Kaitlyn Delaney

Michael Leek

By Michael Leek
Sports Editor

The Stars cross country teams were split once again for two meets on Saturday, Oct. 14. They attended the Ancilla Invitational in Donaldson, Ind., and the Jayhawk Invitational in Muskegon.

The men’s team placed seventh at the Ancilla Invitational with a score of 189. St. Clair County Community College won the meet, scoring 38 points. Both men’s races were 8K.

Sophomore Sam Bruisma led the way for the Stars at the Ancilla Invitational, finishing in 38th place with a time of 30:09.7. Freshmen Cameron Pierce and Korbin Dunham followed in 43rd and 44th place.

At the Jayhawk Invitational, the male Stars had 65 points and placed second behind Grand Valley State University, which had 17.

Sophomore Michael Dennis finished in fourth place, running a time of 25:26.31, followed by sophomores Liam Elder in eighth place and Gabriel Phillips in 10th.

At the Ancilla Invitational, the women placed eighth in the 5K meet with a score of 173. The LCC women’s basketball team joined the Stars cross country team at the meet and competed alongside them.

St. Clair County Community College won this meet, scoring 48 points.

Freshman Reyna Rojas led the way for the Stars finishing in 29th place with a time of 22:36.4. Next to finish for LCC was freshman Jadyn Yonchewski in 35th place.

Rojas said she felt nervous at the beginning without the whole team being there, but it quickly changed into an enjoyable experience.

“I got to know the basketball girls while I was there and they ended up making it super enjoyable,” Rojas said.

Although all of the cross country team was not at the Ancilla Invitational, Rojas said she still had motivating factors pushing her.

“I ran hard to show my coaches and myself that I can still perform well without the usual support of the team,” Rojas said. “And of course not wanting to get beat by the basketball girls was a giant motivation for running faster.”

At the Jayhawk Invitational, the LCC women were not able to score because they did not have five runners compete due to an injury before the race. Grand Valley State won this race by finishing with 23 points.

Sophomore Jana Stiffler was the lead runner for the Stars, finishing in 18th place with a time of 19:21.21. Sophomore Alyssa Williams followed in 42nd.

LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson said he was very pleased with how both meets finished. On the women’s side, he said, Rojas ran a better time from the first meet of the season by four minutes, while Yonchewski ran one minute faster from her first meet.

Robinson said the men’s team beat all the two-year schools and multiple four-year institutions as well.

“We just had a great meet, by far our best meet,” Robinson said.

Dennis, Elder and Phillips have all been performing well this year, and Robinson said he is counting on them to place high in the regional and national meets.

Dennis is aware of the expectations. He said he, and all the returning runners, are improving because of those expectations.

“I do think we are handling his expectations very well top to bottom,” Dennis said. “Coach has told us that our team is one of the most dedicated teams he has ever had, and our results show that this hard work is paying off.”

The regionals will be held at the Byron Center, hosted by Grand Rapids Community College on Friday, Oct. 27.

Robinson said there is a seven-runner limit for each team.

“I have to pick seven and on the men’s side that’s pretty hard to do because I have more than seven who deserve a chance to run at regionals,” Robinson said.

Rojas and Dennis will both be running for LCC during regionals and are beginning to look toward the meet.

“I feel both excited and prepared,” Rojas said. “I am not allowing myself to get stressed over it because we ran that course before and I ran very well there, so I know I can do even better this coming meet.”

Dennis spoke about how the team is preparing and its mindset.

“It is easy to get hyped up on the importance of these large meets,” Dennis said. “At the end of the day it is simply still just an 8K. We are going to keep doing what has worked well for us this season and come in excited for another chance to get out there!”



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