WMU - Hodge Takes Ninth at Crusader Open

WMU - Hodge Takes Ninth at Crusader Open

Provided by WMU

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Aisha Hodge paced the Western Michigan cross country team as it opened the 2013 season at the Crusader Open at Valparaiso University on Friday evening.

Hodge finished ninth overall for the Broncos, who finished in third behind the host Crusaders and first-place Notre Dame. WMU's reliable senior ran a time of 19:10.1, while two freshmen in Daya Wagh and Amy Littlefield finished behind her in the Broncos' top three. Wagh finished in the 11th scoring position and 20th overall with a time of 19:21.6 in her collegiate debut. Littlefield finished 33rd overall and in the 13th scoring position with a time of 19:39.7.

"I felt like we raced okay for where we are," said head coach Kelly Lycan. "I'm not happy with third place but it seems like half our team are freshmen so it was their first collegiate race. I thought Daya and Amy really stuck their noses into the thick of things today and competed well."

Junior Becca Peacock was WMU's fourth finisher with a time of 19:40.5, while Ann Marie Arseneau finished out the Bronco's top-five with a time of 20:12.2. Senior Teresa Marin finished just .2 seconds behind Arseneau and sophomore Raychel Figurski was WMU's seventh runner on the day with a time of 20:35.5.

"I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks and watch these freshmen build some confidence," added Lycan. "It will really give our veterans a nice push to stay ahead of these hungry youngsters."

Next up for the squad is the Spartan Invitational next Friday in East Lansing.