Baetz, Levack top ten finishers at OCC invite
By Nick Misiak
The Oakland County Community College Invitational on September 26 was an ideal setting for the Cross-Country team, as it continued its season in impressive style. In both the women’s 5K and the men’s 8K, special awards were given to the top ten finishers. Nearly every team member ran their fastest time of the year in mid seventy degree temperatures on a well shaded and fast course.
In the women’s 5K, Audrey Baetz improved on her best time by nearly two minutes as she finished in fourth place overall in an impressive 23:13. This comes after joining the team about a month ago after a summer with no training.
In the men’s 8k Teammates Liam Cardenas and Ethan Levack ran nearly together for most of the race with Levack a few steps behind Cardenas and Caton Hacker about 100 yards behind them. About 200 yards from the finish, Levack passed Cardenas, and it was an exciting sprint race to the finish that ended with Levack holding less than a second edge at the tape, edging out Cardenas 30:25 to 30:26. This finishing sprint gained Levack tenth place overall and the final special award. Liam placed 11th overall. 28 seconds later, Hacker placed thirteenth in 30:54.
Levack’s time was his third fastest ever, with one of those being a spectacular time on the Northfield Mountain course at the 2013 National Championships in Massachusetts. Hacker lowered his best time this year by 29 seconds, and this was his second fastest time ever at this distance. Cardenas, who was ill and missed two days of training this week, was 4 seconds slower than his best ever 8K.
As for the other two team members, Brandon Sutton, at 36:33, was about a minute and a half better than his previous seasonal best, and Ryan Stamper, a little over week into joining and training with the team, knocked just over 5 minutes off his race from last week, with a finish in 39:09.
CARDENAS LEADS OCELOTS IN COMMODORE INVITATIONAL
On Friday Sept. 19, the Ocelot Cross-Country team traveled to Elyria, Ohio to compete in the Commodore Invitational hosted by Lorain County Community College. The course is highlighted by a major hill that runners must climb twice and it makes the entire route a challenge. With temperatures in the low 60’s and skies clear, conditions were good for racing.
Leading the team for the second straight week was freshman Liam Cardenas. His time of 31:09 for the 8K was 21 seconds ahead of teammate sophomore Caton Hacker and 43 seconds ahead of sophomore Ethan Levack, who finished in 31:38 and 31:52 respectively. All three ran close together for much of the race. Cardenas’s time was the fastest ever for a Schoolcraft runner on this course. Hacker was 4:30 faster than his 2013 time on this course and was the third fastest ever here. Levack was 1:54 faster than last year.
Also competing for the team were Brandon Sutton and Ryan Stamper. Sutton was 3 seconds slower than a year ago, finishing in 38:48. Stamper, who just joined the team the previous Wednesday, finished in 44:18. This was the first time he had run this far in over 2 years.
Also running from Schoolcraft was Scott Howse, who finished in 33:27.
In the woman’s 5K, Audrey Baetz finished ahead of all of the runners from Wayne County Community College and all but one from Lorain and Hiram with a time of 25:05.