Running for Nationals

Cross Country continues to dominate despite injuries

By James Paxson , Sports Editor

The Cross Country team has made a lot of positive strides since the beginning of this season. The team continues to improve with current runners making personal records late into the season.

“The past couple weeks the team has developed the ability to run longer races and we have developed a team chemistry that has helped us become better runners,” said freshman runner, Eric Wilkewitz.

On Friday Oct. 7, the Ocelots traveled to Lansing, Michigan to compete in the Lansing Community College Invitational. The men’s team ran an 8k (4.97 miles) and the women team ran a 5k (3.1 miles). The autumn air was crisper and the warmer weather was going away for this meet.

The team experienced a setback when Wilkewitz pulled his hip and did not qualify in the race due to injury. The rest of the men put up impressive numbers despite their teammates injury. Freshman runner Ian McCracken finished the race in 33 minutes and 49 seconds and freshman Todd Kazlaukas finished at the top for the men with a final time of 32 minutes and two seconds.

One runner who continues to improve in final times every race is freshman Ibrahim Mourad. He finished with a PR (Personal Record) time in Lansing with a final time of 36 minutes 45 seconds. This time was 38 seconds faster than Mourad’s fastest time this season.

For the women, returning sophomore Caitlin Goyer finished the race with a final score of 24 minutes and 23 seconds. Goyer was held back last season with a shin splints injury and could not race in some meets and the ones she did race in, she was not 100 percent.

“I think I have done way better this year. My injury held me back last year and me being healthy this year has made me done a lot better,” said Goyer.

Another female runner, Rajulai White, was nine seconds away from putting up a PR. White finished the Lansing Invitational meet with a time of 25 minutes and 49 seconds.

With just one more race left before the Region 12 Championship race in Lansing; the team is looking ahead to the Eastern Michigan University Fall Classic. This final race of the regular season will be the first 5k for the men all season.

“Our next race the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic is unique race because it is a 5k for the men. Most of the male runners have not ran a 5k since high school, and this will be cool for them to see their improvements and see where they were before and after all of these long 6k and 8k races,” said Schoolcraft Cross Country Coach, Wright Wilson.

The Region 12 Tournament is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 29 and will have runners from rival school Lansing Community College competing. Lansing won the National title last season and will have a number of runners in the playoffs this season.

For a schedule, rosters and results go to the MCCAA website at www.mccaa.org.