Cornerstone U - Men’s XC earns second place finish to open season

Cornerstone U - Men’s XC earns second place finish to open season

Provided by Cornerstone U 

HOLLAND, Mich. - The fifth-ranked Golden Eagles opened the 2017 Cross Country season taking the runner up trophy at the Vanderbilt Invitational hosted by Hope College.

Coach Nate Van Holten held out most of last season's top seven, while two seniors and three freshmen stepped in, running a well-executed team effort over the 8 kilometer course.

Senior, Phil Merrell held a ten-second gap on a pack of six teammates through four miles. On the final climb toward the finish, classmate, Nate Silvey made a final push to overtake Merrell while freshmen held form behind them.

Silvey placed sixth with a time of 27:08, while Merrell finished eighth just six seconds back. Denver Daniel fronted the freshmen, clocking a 27:21 time for tenth place, while Grant Gayan and Ryan Koontz completed the team scoring taking fourteenth and fifteenth with respective times of 27:37 and 27:38.

The tight one-through-five split of just 30 seconds put Cornerstone in second overall with 48 points behind Davenport's 41. The hosts from Hope finished third with 67, ahead of Calvin with 94 and Muskegon Community College at 113.

Cornerstone's next meet will take place next Saturday at Calvin College for the Knight Invitational.