2015 GLIAC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Lake Erie College cross country teams will compete at the 2015 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships Saturday (Oct. 24) in Milford, Mich., hosted by Wayne State University.
The women have had a few injuries and illnesses crop up in recent weeks, but they're doing what they can to minimize those and be ready to run well on Saturday. We've had three different number one runners (Aleea Volkman, Taylor Ritchie, and Hailey VanHoy) in the first four meets, and we honestly have 5-6 women who could lead the team on any given day. On the down side, that means we don't have a true frontrunner who will give us a low-point total in a big meet like GLIACs, but on the positive side we can have a great pack working together pushing each other. The GLIAC is so deep and so talented (four current top-25 teams and three more that have been ranked this season), that for us to beat anyone, we absolutely have to work together as a group. For a young program that has had trouble fielding a full team at times, it's a big deal to put more than seven ladies on the line and to be competitive. We're going to do our best to compete in a loaded field.
Our men set a number of ambitious goals early in the season, and we've already achieved several of those. Now comes the true test of the progress we've made. We are incredibly young with 11 true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, one junior and one redshirt sophomore. We have a grand total of three races of GLIAC experience among the 10 guys who will toe the line on Saturday, however D.J. Graham is one-for-one and Vince Horning is two-for-two in terms of good races at this meet. Vince ran a huge PR last season at Tiffin and just missed the school record, and D.J. was 31st as a freshman at Michigan Tech. They're our two captains and they've done a phenomenal job of leading the younger guys this fall. Our top-5 has really rounded into form in the last month, led by Brandon Green who was our top runner two weeks ago at Gannon-Mercyhurst. Freshman Jordan Pritchard has had some great workouts and consistent races, and Logan Ebersole has emerged as our fifth guy and has closed the gap significantly to the first four. The course at Kensington is challenging and hilly, and we've run a lot of tough courses in practice and in meets to prepare for it. One of the goals the guys set at the start of the season, as a program that has historically been at the bottom of this conference, is to surprise people. I think we can do that again on Saturday and I'm excited to see how they respond to the awesome level of competition in the GLIAC.