EMU - Fink Snags Runner-Up Finish in East Lansing

EMU - Fink Snags Runner-Up Finish in East Lansing

Provided by EMU

EAST LANSING, Mich. (EMUEagles.com)—Eastern Michigan University's men's cross country team had another strong performance in the third meet of its season, taking three of the top-10 spots in a field of over 350 harriers at the MSU-Auto Owners-Spartan Invitational Sponsored by Playmakers, Sept. 12.

The Green and White established its spot at the front of the pack early on in the race, paced by freshman Lahsene Bouchikhi (Antwerp, Belgium-Stedelijk Lyceum Paardenmarkt Luchthaven). The Belgian native ran out early to claim the top spot, setting the pace for the field throughout the first six kilometers. Bouchikhi fell behind slightly, but still maintained a top position until the finish line.

However, the first Eagle to cross the line was Willy Fink (Maumee, Ohio-Maumee), who ran with the lead group throughout the entirety of the race before breaking off in the final 500 meters to finish runner-up and claim the best finish of his collegiate cross country career. Fink was barely edged out by Brian Baum of Ashland, with a final time of 24:39. Not far behind Fink was Nick Raymond (Erie, Mich.-Mason) in fifth place. Raymond ran alongside Hlynur Andresson (Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland-Mountain Ridge (Alderson Broaddus)) for the majority of the 8,000-meter course and produced a strong kick that propelled him into his final spot in 24:42 to get the best of Michigan State's Ben Carruthers.

Following Raymond was Bouchikhi, who fell to 10th in 24:51. Fink, Raymond, and Bouchikhi were the only Eagles to keep a pace of five minutes per mile or less, along with the other seven runners in the first 10 to complete the course. Finishing in 14th place was Andresson in 25:04 before a gap in finishers for the Green and White. Steve Hammond (Warsaw, Ohio-River View (Wingate)) was the fifth to finish, taking 49th in 25:41, and was preceded by EMU alumnus Curtis Vollmar. The former EMU runner, a three-time All-Mid-American Conference selection in cross country, ran for Playmakers, the sponsoring company for the Spartan Invitational.

Head Coach John Goodridge was impressed with the turnout of the day's race. "Our front four did a very nice job executing the race strategy," he explained. "Today was the first day I let them run hard, so this was our first evaluation of our summer running. I am pleased and encouraged to learn where we currently are."

The team will have three weeks to prepare for its next meet, which will be the illustrious Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish will play host to an array of races, the first of which will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3.

EMU Individual Results

2. Fink, Willy 24:39

5. Raymond, Nick 24:42

10. Bouchikhi, Lahsene 24:51

14. Andresson, Hlynur 25:04

49. Hammond, Steve 24:41

51. Flores, Abel 25:46

56. Knox, John 25:48

75. Trinh, Cameron 26:11

77. Lenneman, Mitch 26:12

83. Sattler, John 26:16

90. Brizzolara, Cody 26:23

130. McFarland, Nick 26:56

152. Bradley, Scott 27:20

183. Sparks, Stephen 27:47