By Nick Misiak
The weekend of Nov. 8, the Schoolcraft Cross-Country Team ran in the Division III National Cross-Country Championship at Finger Lakes Community College in Canadaigua, New York.
On race day, the air was clear with the temperature at freezing. At the start of the woman’s 5K race, the temperature was a crisp 38 degrees. Freshman Audrey Baetz was among the top 25 runners during the first half of the race eventually falling back and finishing 34th overall in 22:58 (7:24 mile pace). Teammate Grace Doolittle was always within ten runners of Audrey and finished 42nd in 23:14 (7:29). Both women will be returning to the team next year.
The top finisher in the race was Victoria Campanian from Herkimer College, who completed the course in 20:06 (6:29). No runner finished with a time under 20:00 giving an indication of the course difficulty.
The temperature rose to 40 degrees for the 11:00 start of the men’s 8K race. Ethan Levack ran well the entire race, finishing 24th overall. He finished just 26 seconds behind 15th place, the last All-American spot. This was the best national finish of a Schoolcraft runner since the men’s program was reinstated in 2008. His time of 29:56 (6:02 mile pace) was his second fastest of the season.
Ten places and 40 seconds behind him was Freshman Liam Cardenas in 30:36 (6:10). At the Region Championship he ran the team’s fastest race of the year, giving great promise for next year’s season. Caton Hacker was the team’s third runner, finishing in 32:41 (6:35).
“The race course mainly looked good except for some hilly and f lat areas that were wet and muddy” said Head Coach Ed Kozloff “As the team did an easy run through the course Caton Hacker tripped, went down and came up covered with mud, which was a little hysterical.” This was a busy and successful year for Schoolcraft Cross-Country. Since training began in August, the team ran in 14 races with nearly all the runners having great success in many of them. Coach Kozloff hopes that his returning runners will train hard in the offseason to continue to improve upon their already impressive numbers.