The Greenville University Men’s Cross Country team traveled to Olivet Nazarene University to compete in the Midwest Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships on Friday, September 28th. The competition that the men’s team faced was very competitive, especially against North Central University. They are ranked number one in Division III men’s track and field. Aside from North Central, the other solid teams were Olivet Nazarene University and Trine University. The men’s team was able to finish in seventh place with total points of 206 and a total team time of 2:17:08.52 on an eight-kilometer course. To the eye, it may have seemed as if the team didn’t do well, but athletes times tell a different story.
Leading the way for the men’s team this past weekend was senior, John Mangold finishing in seventh place with a time of 26:21.23. Coming in behind Mangold was junior, Dylan Goodyear finishing in 22nd place with a time of 26:33.90. Both of these times are very consistent times for Mangold and Goodyear. The rest of the point scoring places went to the following runners starting with Collin Kessinger coming in at the 53rd place with a time of 27:50.34. Then, Kaleb Carlson coming in right behind Kessinger at 55th place with a time of 27:51.99, followed by Dylon Niswonger finishing in 63rd place with a time of 28:31.06. Then the last two runners rounding out the point scorers are Jonathon Goodenow placing 66th with a time of 28:43.65 which is close to a minute and a half improvement from the previous meet. The final runner was Noah Dir coming in right behind Goodenow in 67th place with a running a time of 28:55.26. Each men’s cross-country runner who ran this past weekend improved their times by as little as a few seconds to as much as almost three minutes from the previous meet.
Upperclassmen Niswonger and Kessinger ran very well this past weekend with both of them improving their times by over or close to a minute. Niswonger felt, “The time I put up wasn’t what I wanted but it was a good day and I am content. God has blessed us with lots of young talent this year. There are a lot of guys on our team that really love running and I think as the season continues to play out, they have a great opportunity to make the difference the team needs right now.” Kessinger added, “Our most recent meet was a huge confidence booster for the team before heading into the late season schedule. Like I’ve said before, the temperature is a huge factor and it showed this weekend. It was about twenty degrees cooler than our previous meet and people ran up to two minutes faster overall. We are in a very good position to perform well at the conference meet later this month. Right now we need to focus on getting in our last few weeks of high mileage and getting over injury/illness. It’ll be an exciting fall.”
The fact that the men’s cross-country team was able to improve their times as much as they did, is a sign that impressive things are to happen. They competed with the best men’s team in Division III cross-country and still ran solid times. The rest of the season should be interesting to watch especially with the SLIAC Championships coming up at the end of October on Saturday the 27th. Stay tuned for the results of this exciting event.