Cross Country team back to full strength at Spartan Invitational
By Nick Misiak
The Spartan Invitational may be the largest cross country race in the state, and the Schoolcraft Cross Country team put on a solid performance in a race-packed day in East Lansing on September 12. Unlike the Titan Invitational, all of the Ocelot runners were eligible to participate in their respective events. Temperatures in the mid 50’s proved ideal for racing, but had many athletes shivering until they were well warmed up.
In the men’s 8K, freshman Liam Cardenas led the squad and became the third fastest Schoolcraft runner at this event since the men’s team was reinstated in 2008 with a time of 30:22 (6:07 per mile). Mark Freyberg set the record in 2010 when he clocked 27:34 (5:33) and Nate Wise was under 30:00 in both 2010 and 2011, in which he ran the race barefoot.
Behind Cardenas was sophomore Caton Hacker in 31:23 (6:19). Last year Hacker posted a time of 31:48 in this race. Not feeling well from the start was sophomore Ethan Levack, who was just eight seconds behind Hacker in 31:31 (6:21). A year ago, Levack’s time was 31:26.
Still trying to regain his endurance after a major knee injury earlier in the year was Brandon Sutton, who finished in 38:09 (7:41). In 2013, he clocked 36:45.
For the women, Audrey Baetz finished the 6K in 29:03 (7:48). Baetz’s time was just three seconds slower that Adrianna Beltran’s was in 2012, when she was an All-American and finished ahead of three Oakland Community College runners.
Also running in the race was Joel Simpson, now a Michigan State University student, running with the school intramural team. Last year he was an Academic All American with the Schoolcraft team that went to the National Championship.
Former Schoolcraft Women’s Cross Country runner Adrianna Beltran, now running for Concordia, clocked 25:04.