And they’re off! While most people can run, hardly anyone can run for long distances with the kind of pace the HU men’s cross country team can hold. This is one of the most mentally challenging sports out there; it’s just you and your mind, racing towards a finish line you cannot see.

The men’s cross-country roster consists of mostly underclassmen. There are four freshmen (Justin Edwards, Aaron Hendryx, Matthew Hyter, and Luke Zeddis), five sophomores (Kody Ahrens, Justin Ayres, Elijah Chesterman, Cody Feisel, and Adrien Gentie), one junior (Nick Childs) and two seniors (Kevin Moser and CJ Robertson), which gives the team a total of twelve members.

For the first meet, Childs and Moser won the Hokum Karem together with an average mile time of 5:17, with the fastest mile run by Moser at 4:45.2. Barely trailing behind Childs and Moser were Gentie and Hendryx with an average of 5:19 per mile. In fifth out of 22 total racing pairs were Ahrens and Zeddis, averaging 5:23/mile. Robertson and Chesterman finished in 15th with a pace of 5:43. Edwards, Fiesel, and Ayres finished it off with a pace of 6:08 per mile. The athletes that competed in the Hokum Karem led the Huntington men’s cross country team to a victory with eight points in their first competition of the season.

The team came in fifth out of 10 teams at the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational, an 8K race featuring 131 runners. Of them, Moser finished in 12th place with a time of 27:02. Less than a minute behind him, Childs crossed the finish line at 27:57 in 25th place. Gentie finished in 30th at 28:35, followed by Hendryx in 35th at 28:49, Ahrens in 46th at 29:09, Zeddis in 54th at 29:49, and Ayres in 61st at 30:31.

The team placed eighth out of 10 teams at its most recent invitational at Taylor University. Following the pattern of the first two meets, Moser was the first HU runner to finish the race, placing 31st at 28:15, with Childs only seven seconds behind him in 33rd place. Hendryx placed 38th at a time of 28:36, followed by Ahrens in 46th at 29:14, Gentie in 51st at 29:29, Chesterman in 55th at 29:42, and Robertson in 60th at 30:20.

Overall, the men’s cross country team has placed solidly during their invitationals, boasting a victory in the Hokum Karem. In each race, senior Moser has crossed the line first for the team with Childs very close behind. Cross country is one of the most challenging mental sports out there. Many people have the ability to run, but not all of them have the heart to keep going.