EMU Men - Green and White Sees Impressive Individual Turnouts at Notre Dame
Provided by EMU
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (EMUEagles.com) — Eastern Michigan University's men's cross country team completed its most demanding meet of the season thus far, earning a 17th-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational, Oct. 3. The Eagles went up a formidable field, as all 24 teams competing were regionally ranked while 10 programs sat among the nation's top-30.
Junior harrier Willy Fink (Maumee, Ohio-Maumee) paced the Green and White once more in his second performance of the season, taking 25th in the Blue Race with a mark of 23:49.70. The meet was won by Mason Ferlic of EMU's neighbor down Washtenaw, who led the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines to a victory with 97 points. The course, though slated as a five-mile race, was cut about 200 meters short due to heavy rainfall affecting the ground prior to the meet.
Fink was followed by another Eagle making just his second appearance of the season, as Lahsene Bouchikhi (Antwerp, Belgium-Stedelijk Lyceum Paardenmarkt Luchthaven) nabbed the only other top-50 finish for the Green and White after taking 39th in 24:02.50. Bouchikhi once again did a tremendous job setting the pace for the entire field early on before the other frontrunners kicked into gear in the final two miles.
Coming in as the third scorer was Hlynur Andresson (Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland-Mountain Ridge (Alderson Broaddus), who notched a time of 24:26.40. The final two to score for the Eagles were Steve Hammond (Warsaw, Ohio-River View (Wingate)) in 24:56.00 and John Knox (Gloversville, N.Y.-Gloversville) in 25:03.30. Together, the top five runners scored 424 points for the Green and White.
Head Coach John Goodridge noticed significant potential from his Eagles in the afternoon's performance. "I saw some very positive things today that we will continue to build upon and continue improving," the eight-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year noted. "Fink and Bouchikhi ran with the lead pack for most of the race, which is an exciting step in their development. Additionally, with two of our top-five not in the lineup, a few more guys gained valuable experience."
The Eagles also saw some strong performances from their runners in the Men's Open Race. Redshirt-senior Warren Witchell (Williamston, Mich.-Dansville) saw his first action of the 2014 campaign and finished 10th overall in 24:40.47. The Green and White saw two more members land in the top-50, as Abel Flores (Defiance, Ohio-Defiance) took 33rd in 25:39.87 and Cody Brizzolara (Maine, N.Y.-Maine-Endwell) finished 45th in 25:59.06. Additionally, former cross country harrier Harry Dixon finished fourth in 23:58.18 and was one of just four runners to break the 24-minute barrier.
Two weeks will pass before the squad takes on a new field, as they will travel to Terre Haute, Ind. for the Indiana State Pre-National Invitational. The meet will serve as a chance for the Eagles to run the same course that will be used at the 2014 NCAA Championships, hosted by Indiana State University. The first race of the day will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18.
EMU Individual Results
Men's Blue Race
25. Fink, Willy 23:49.70
39. Bouchikhi, Lahsene 24:02.50
83. Andresson, Hlynur 24:26.40
145. Hammond, Steve 24:56.00
157. Knox, John 25:03.30
161. Lenneman, Mitch 25:09.70
186. Trinh, Cameron 25:46.20
Men's Open Race
10. Witchell, Warren 24:40.47
33. Flores, Abel 25:39.87
45. Brizzolara, Cody 25:59.06
51. Sattler, John 26:09.63
54. McFarland, Nick 26:16.16
72. Sparks, Stephen 26:58.46
79. Bradley, Scott 27:30.97