Written and media by Jaylen Shelton.
On Friday, September 29th, the Greenville Men’s Cross Country Team competed at H.W. Wright Classic. This was hosted by Millikin University at the Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur, Illinois. It was perfect weather for a cross country meet, and there was not that much wind. The race was on every runner’s favorite kind of course — completely flat with no hills to kill your legs. It was the Panther’s first race since the Midwest Classic which took place on September 8th. There was a total of seven teams and 118 total competitors. The teams that were competing were Greenville, Millikin, Washington University, Rose Hulman, Illinois College, Lindenwood Belleville, and Blackburn College. Washington University, which is ranked 5th in the nation, won the meet. Greenville University finished 2nd behind them, and Rose Hulman finished 3rd.
Greenville had a team total score of 71 points which was led by Andrew Sharp who scored eight points with a time of 25:22. Sharp was the number one runner on Greenville’s team. He was followed up by Senior Jaylen Shelton who ran a time of 25:51. Shelton scored 14 points for the Panthers and finished 2nd for them. The next three runners for Greenville finished 17th-19th and within 14 seconds of each other. John Mangold was Greenville’s 3rd finisher with a time of 26:03, which was good enough for 17th. Right behind Mangold was another senior, Nathan Potts, who finished with a time of 26:10 for 18th. Rounding up the team’s top 5 was Sophomore Dylan Goodyear who finished 19th with a time of 26:17. Greenville’s 6th and 7th runner finished three seconds from each other. Dylon Niswonger finished in the top seven for the first time ever with a running time of 27:26, which landed him 35th in the race and 6th for Greenville. Following Niswonger was Noah Dir who finished 7th for Greenville with a time of 27:29 and an overall finish of 38th. The top five times were the fastest top five finishes that Greenville has had in awhile, and they all finished within 55 seconds of each other.
This was a great meet for Greenville because it was their first race in three weeks. It was a nice opportunity for athletes to get out on the course and run again, and get some of the racing spirit back in them. The Panthers entire top seven runners all had season bests in the race. Shelton, Mangold, Goodyear, Niswonger, and Dir each ran their fastest time ever. John Mangold said, “It was perfect weather and a great course. I wish that all cross country races were like how it went today.” The Panthers have a two-week break before they head to Peoria for the Bradley Pink Classic meet on Friday, October 13th. The course is not like Millikin’s because of some hills the runners have to deal with, but the Panthers look to repeat last year when they took 2nd, or the year before when they won it. They hope to keep the momentum going from this meet to the next and to carry into the conference which is in four weeks on Saturday, October 28th. See you there!