In a sport such as cross country where the overwhelming majority of the races are away meets, it can be such an enjoyable and rewarding experience to run at one’s home course. This is exactly what the Vikings found out last Saturday when they competed in the Gene Davis Invitational at Reid Memorial Golf Course. With impressive finishes both individually and team-wise, the Lawrence University Cross Country program dominated their home meet and gained some much needed racing confidence as they look forward to this weekend.
The Viking women took second in the team scoring, the highest they’ve finished all season. Freshman Clare Bruning won the women’s race, coving the 6000 meters in 23:29-her first-ever collegiate title. She finished almost a minute ahead of anyone else in the race. Lead by a strong performance by Bruning, the next finishers for the Vikings were junior Katherine Dannecker, freshman Liz Landes, junior Anna Ratliff, and freshman Haedyn Smith. Their times were 25:04, 26:02, 26:04, and 26:14 respectively. Bruning, Dannecker, Landes, and Smith all had all-time or season personal bests by almost a minute in each case. The Viking women really had a strong showing in the race and are looking to carry this momentum into the following weeks.
On the men’s side, the dynamic duo of junior Curran Carlile and senior Sam Stevens struck again. This time it was Carlile who set the pace for the men’s 8000-meter race. Crossing the line in 26:25, he had his teammate right there to work together throughout the race. Stevens finished slightly behind him in 26:26 to take second overall. This was Carlile’s first individual title since when he won this very race two years ago. It was clear that he was stoked about his finish. “I haven’t been this excited since I won our home meet two years ago,” he commented. “Now I have to focus on finding ways to win more meets.”
Behind Carlile and Stevens were a host of other fast times for the Viking men. Sophomore Kyle Dockery took third overall with his time of 26:43 and freshman Jonah Laursen nabbed fourth with a time of 26:51. Rounding out the scoring for the Vikings was junior Dan Thoresen, who had a fantastic race personally and finished with a time of 27:35.
The meet itself was quite a success, with both Lawrence teams representing themselves well at their home meet. Many alumni of the team were able to make it back for the race as well, adding to a strong team dynamic for the Vikings. Stevens noted, “It was really great to see so many of the old runners as well as people from campus supporting the meet; we had a great time running for our peers.”
Next week, the Vikings will travel to UW-Oshkosh to compete in the Brooks Invitational-a highly competitive race that attracts teams from all over the country. There will also be some teams from the conference there to offer some stiff competition to the Vikings.