PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- The Lake Erie College men's and women's cross country teams will open their 2016 campaign on Friday (Sept. 2) at the Walsh Ric Sayre Invitational.
The women start their lone 5K race of the season at 5:00 PM on the campus of Walsh University, followed by the men's 8K starting at 5:30 PM.
"We're excited to get the rust out and get back into competition mode," said Head Coach Grant Lofdahl. "We've had some solid early workouts, and overall we came into the season in good shape. DJ Graham, Jordan Pritchard, and Gina Henley in particular put in a ton of miles and did some great work this summer."
Henley wrapped up her 4K For Cancer run across the US in early August, and averaged nearly 60 miles per week over the summer.
"I'm proud of Gina for what she did this summer with 4K For Cancer, and as a side benefit she's starting the season with a tremendous base of mileage," Lofdahl noted. "We're also getting a boost from junior transfer Sage Beauregard. She's made quick progress and is looking strong in early workouts. Hailey VanHoy and Catherine Beisel have made a lot of progress in the past year, and are looking to build on their 2015 successes."
"It's a very different team than a year ago," said Lofdahl. The guys are starting out with some expectations, and they're coming into the season very fit. We won't be a deep team, but we've got a little firepower."
Graham set school records in the indoor 3K and 5K, as well as the outdoor 5K and 10K last spring. Pritchard did some record breaking of his own, including new Storm standards in the indoor and outdoor 800, as well as the 1500. He placed 3rd in the GLIAC in the latter event, with Horning -- the LEC 1-mile record holder -- close behind in 7th.
"Those three guys had a great summer," Lofdahl added. "They took ownership of their training and they all have some high goals for this season. I fully expect all of them to run under our current 8K record of 25:33. I'm looking for our four-to-five guys to step up and get this team up to its potential."
The Storm men placed a program-best ninth in the rugged GLIAC a year ago, and are looking to improve that finish this season. Key meets include the All-Ohio Invite on September 30, and the First Annual LEC Storm Invitational at Painesville Country Club on October 8.
"Everything we do revolves around being at our best at the conference and regional championship meets. With this being our final season in the GLIAC, we want to go out on a high note," Lofdahl said.
Ferris State will host the GLIAC meet on October 22nd, while Southern Indiana hosts the regional meet -- at the site of the 2017 D2 National Championship -- on November 5th.