Run for the hills

Women’s cross country improves time

BY NOAH ENGERER 
STAFF WRITER 

Audrey Baetz leads the pack and finishes the Titan Invitational in 22:07 (7:08 per mile pace).

Audrey Baetz leads the pack and finishes the Titan Invitational in 22:07 (7:08 per mile pace).

Sophomore Cross Country runners Audrey Baetz, Grace Doolittle and Caitlyn Goyer represented Schoolcraft College at the brutal 5k course at Cass Benton for the 29th Annual Running Fit Detroit Titan Invitational on Saturday Sept. 12.

The race set pace at Cass Benton, located off Hines Drive in Northville, which is notorious for being a very difficult, hilly course. Fortunately for the Ocelots, it was like home field advantage for them, due to often holding practices there.

The ladies ran with determination and focused minds to improve their times from the previous race, the Golden Grizzly Invitational held on Sept. 6 at Oakland University. Although the temperatures were in the brisk 60s, it made for perfect racing conditions.

Baetz finished with a time of 22:07 (7:08 per mile pace), Doolittle finished in 24:33 (7:55 per mile pace), and Goyer closely followed, finishing strong with her best time of 25:00 (8:04 per mile pace).

In the Titan Invitational, Grace Doolittle cut down her time by about two and a half minutes from the Golden Grizzly race the week prior.

In the Titan Invitational, Grace Doolittle cut down her time by about two and a half minutes from the Golden Grizzly race the week prior.

“She [Baetz] improved by over three minutes and is well ahead of last year when she was a top contender in the National Division III Cross-Country,” head coach Ed Kozloff said about Baetz, who is competing for All-American.

Doolittle and Goyer also had improved times of over a minute. Doolittle ran two and a half minutes faster than her race at the Golden Grizzly the previous week.

“The goal for her [Doolittle] at this race was to finish in the 25 minute range, [and] her time well exceeded expectations,” explained Kozloff.

Doolittle had a strategy to her success.

“I tried to maintain my place and not let anyone pass me on the hill, and then after the hill, the goal is to take three quick steps so you can pick up the pace,” commented Doolittle.

This was Goyer’s second race ever, and she improved her time from the previous week by nearly a minute and a half.

“I feel a lot more confident, and I know what to expect now,” said Goyer.

This is head coach Ed Kozloff’s eighth season with smallest team he has ever coached at Schoolcraft. However, he continues to inspire his runners to run fast, improve their times and bring out the best in them. Baetz is in training for a national championship run, Doolittle continues to improve her time in competition and Goyer is competing for the first time ever in her academic years.

The team has the Spartan Invitational, the Lansing Community College Invitational on Oct. 9 and the Detroit Free Press 5K before the NJCAA Region XII Division III Championship race.

The team will head into the toughest part of their training in the next few weeks in order to get into tip-top shape for the end of their season. The coming weeks will include peak mileage and tough workouts before the Ocelots begin preparing for the post-season championship run at Nationals. Based on their improvements this early on in the season, the ladies look like they will be able to post faster times as their training continues.