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Cross Country clocks two first place finishes

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The Lady Foresters are continue to chase success despite two first place finishes. They took the title at the Bluffton University Invitational with 42 points and won the Madison Kiwanis Invitational with 35 points. (Photo provided)

The women’s cross country team opened their fall season by winning both the Bluffton University Invitational Aug. 29 and the Madison Kiwanis Invitational at Hanover College Sept. 6. The Foresters took the title at the Bluffton University Invitational with 42 points, and won the Madison Kiwanis Invitational with 35 points.

Even after the success, the team is still looking to improve.

“Since there is only eight of us on the team now, we are expecting to be running close together, trying to close the gap,” senior Natalie Spahr said. “Our first two meets one to eight was a few minutes time difference, and we’re just trying to get that close together.”

Senior Erin Rockey said they have great team chemistry. “Even though you place individually, we are very team oriented,” she said.“Everything we do we do to help each other get better.”

Rockey said she hopes this relationship continues as they head into the Grace College Invitational Oct. 4.

“Out of all my four years I would say that this team has such good unity,” she said. “I mean there’s no cliques at all, and we all not only like being around each other running, but we all are really good friends too.”

As their season moves forward, Spahr and Rockey look forward to the rest of the season and to seeing what the team will achieve in the future, especially at the end of the season.

“When we get toward the end of the season there’s Wilmington and Aquinas,” Spahr said. “The season has started well, but I am excited to get to the point where there are bigger meets. The pressure is on a little bit more, and I think it will just be exciting to see how the team responds to that.”

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Senior Brian Menzie leads his opposition during a meet. Menzie has placed 15th and 9th respectively overall in his first two meets. (Photo provided)

Meanwhile, the men have continued to show solid finishes. In their two first meets of the season, the team posted third place finishes. Sophomore Austin Presnell and senior Brian Menzie have been the top two finishers for the team.

Menzie believes the team’s strength comes with how close of times the top performers clock in.

“We are a pretty young team this year with twice as many freshmen and sophomores as we have juniors and seniors,” Menzie said. “Our biggest strength is how close our top five guys are.”

Menzie shares that the team would like to send individuals to nationals, even the whole team if possible. However, the ultimate goal of the team is to show character in all they do.

“All in all, we are hoping to be characterized as a men’s team that honors God and that runs for each other,” he said.

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