Cross-Country’s Mulder, Moriarty Set Personal Bests
The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to two meets this weekend. On Saturday, the varsity teams competed in Terre Haute, Indiana at the Division III Pre-Nationals Meet. The race was held at the Laverne Gibson cross country course, which is the same course where the NCAA National Championship meet will be held in November. The rest of the team travelled to Jacksonville State University in Oxford, Alabama for the Foothills Invitational.
At the Pre-Nationals Meet, the men’s team finished seventh in the 31 team field, beating out two regional rivals: Trinity College and Centre College.
Over the course of the season, Associate Coach Carl Leivers has tried to instill the idea of the “hunt” into his runers, in which the team runs harder and passes as many athletes as possible in the last three miles of the race.
This week’s team performance played into that theme, as the Eagles capitalized on picking off competitors up a steep hill around the second mile maker.
Junior Eddie Mulder once again crossed the line first for the men, finishing in 10th place overall in a time of 25:48, a 44 second personal best. Another standout performance came from sophomore Patrick Crews, who completed the race a season best time of 27:14.
About the performance of him and his team, Crews simply said, “the hunters hunted.”
Accompanying Mulder and Crews in the top seven were freshman Lukas Mees, senior Stephen Ellwood, junior Alex Fleischhacker, junior Hank Ashforth and sophomore Cameron Wheeler.
Sophomore Tyler Cooke clocked a very impressive performance in the Fothills Invitational.
Cooke said he just tried to “focus on catching the guy in front of me” and his strategy off, as he finished in the race 27:02, a 17 second personal best.
The team finished fifth out of 10 teams at the meet.
In response to the team’s effort over the weekend, Leivers repeated the mantra that he has posted all over the teams locker room and training e-mails: “Good is the enemy of great.”
Although he recognizes that the team has a lot of work to do to before they are ready for nationals, Coach Leivers is confident that “this team has the attitude to handle it.”
The women’s team placed eighth out of the 30 teams competing in Terre Haute. Although the team beat out 22 teams, Emory placed 3 spots behind regional rival, Trinity College.
Sophomore Hannah Moriarty led the Eagles with a personal best time of 23:27.
In addition to Moriatry, this week’s top seven runners included sophomore Tamara Surtees, sophomore Elise Viox, senior Calleson Edwards, freshman Aileen Rivell, sophomore Ashley Stumvoll and sophomore Stephanie Crane.
Regarding the race, Edwards, a team captain, remarked, “We need to come together as a team to reevaluate our goals if we want to represent Emory at Nationals.”
Edwards pointed out that the upcoming University Athletics Association (UAA) Conference meet and Southeast Regional Meet will test the team’s ability to compete under pressure.
Edwards thinks that the difference maker for this team’s success will be “heart and confidence.”
Head Coach John Curtin agreed with Edwards’ thoughts about the team’s performance.
“I hope we are a better team than we showed today,” Curtin said. “We got off to a good start, but didn’t stay aggressive.”
Curtin is hopeful that this team has the talent to be competitive as the bigger meets approach.
However, he believes that more of his athletes need to emerge as team leaders.
“No one has been particularly consistent from week to week. We need a couple kids to step up and take charge on race day,” Curtin remarked. “It’s time to take what I see in training workouts and transfer that intensity and energy onto the course.”
At the Jacksonville State Invitational, the remaining runners on the women’s team brought home a sixth place finish out of the twelve teams competing.
Freshman Lydia O’Neal led the Eagles with a time of 20:21, good enough for a 19th pace finish in a 87 runner field.
Sophomore Brooke Kawamoto crossed the line six seconds after O’Neal for a 20th place finish overall.
Next up for the men’s and women’s cross country teams is the Viking Open, which is being held on October 13th in Rome, Georgia.
— By Megan Hunter