By: Brice Davis, Contributing Writer
Saturday, Nov. 10, the Indiana Wesleyan University men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the NCCAA Cross Country meet.
The Wildcat women finished seventh in a field of 35 teams. Azusa Pacific took home the women’s championship with a score of 80 points, while Roberts Wesleyan University and Malone University followed with scores of 102 and 110. IWU finished with a score of 263.
Knowing this would be the last collegiate meet for many seniors, the Wildcats wanted “to go out with an exclamation point,” as coach John Foss said.
“Going into Christian Nationals this past weekend, we had the mindset of putting it all out there on the course, of having no regrets and competing to the best of our God-given abilities,” said Kayla Ewert (jr).
Ewert was the first Wildcat to finish Saturday, followed by Emily Dean (sr), Natasha Greenwood (sr) and Angel Gaesser (fr).
Foss elected to rest many of his top runners including Alyssa Foss (jr) and Ethan Naylor (sr). Each qualified for the NAIA National and chose to take the week off to prepare.
On the men’s side of things, Oklahoma Christian University won the school’s first cross country championship with a score of 41 points, while Malone and California Baptist University followed respectively. IWU finished with a score of 301 points.
Ethan Laudermilch (sr) was the top finisher for the men’s team with a time of 26:51. Andrew Albert (sr) followed shortly with a time of 26:56.
“My plan was to relax the first few miles and then to treat the last three miles as if it was the NAIA National Race,” Albert said. “Although our times were a bit slow, it appears that both the women and men’s races were slow as a whole. This could be due to the multiple different factors such as the headwind on the course and tactics of the individual runners.”
The next test for the Wildcats will be the NAIA National Championship, which will be held Saturday in Vancouver, Wash. The women’s meet will take place at 1:30 p.m. and the men at 2:45 p.m. The race will feature the top seven Wildcat men and individual qualifier Foss.