Cross country runs to victory

Abigail Richter runs on the course in home meet.


Abigail Richter runs on the course in home meet.

Brie Coder, Copy Editor

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MACOMB, Ill. — The Western Illinois men and women’s cross country teams had quite a victorious event last Friday at the WIU Early Bird, as both teams had several runners sprint towards new records and achievements.

For their only home meet this season, head coach Nick Maas was ecstatic that several of his Purple and Gold athletes reached the finish line in a timely manner, while also being ahead of the other teams.

“We had a great meet to bust off the rust on our home course,” Maas said. “Our women ran a great race and beat a very good Bradley team who is ranked highly in the region. Nicole Beebe is on a mission this season and really looked good. It’s going to be a great year for her.”

Beebe dominated with a first place finish at 14:40. In second was junior Abigail Richter with 14:54.8 and sophomore Hailey Tranchitella at 14:58.9. What made their top trio wins successful was the fact that each runner came in before the 15 minute mark. All three of these women topped the other teams that there were competing against including Bradley, Webster and Carl Sandburg College.

Sophomore Jacey Roper (15:41.9) and freshman Mackenzie Goldring (15:53.8) were neck and neck with 12 and 13th place finishes. Freshmen sisters Elyse and Kaitlyn Matthews competed in the 4K with times of 16:12.8 and 17:49.6. Since this is Goldring and the Matthews sisters’ first collegiate level competition, these women did a great job beating the odds and maintaining the stamina necessary to finish the event.

Additionally the new faces from the men’s division impressed Maas and their teammates as well. Freshmen Lucas Howett and Alec Scott were two of the top four finishers that came in with times of 20:41.8 and 21:03.2.

Senior Lucas Lingle obtained a top-ten performance of 19:34.9, which is also a new personal record for the upperclassman. Maas added in the comment about Lingle saying “Lingle is really looking good and ran very well. His senior year is going to be fun to watch.”

Ending the competition for the men’s side, junior Ross Smetzer posted the second best time with 20:34.9, and sophomore Quintin Thurman also recorded a new PR with 22:20.4, which shaves off 20 seconds from his previous best PR.

Overall the women placed first and the men placed third in their teams’ standings. Both the men and women’s teams took out their toughest competitor Bradley, but this won’t be the last time these two teams duke it out for the overall prize of being the dominant division leaders.

Western’s next meet against Bradley will be next Friday in Peoria, Ill. at the Bradley Intercollegiate. Maas’ last comment at the WIU Early Bird was how his two teams will work harder during practice to surpass Bradley once more in this upcoming event. “In a few weeks, we have a much bigger race at Bradley, that’s when we will really see what we have going. It’s a long season, and we need to keep improving as we progress.”

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