CHARLESTON, Ill. - Competing against a field of runners ranging from NCAA Division I to NAIA athletes, the Forester cross country teams competed in the Walt Crawford Invitational hosted by Eastern Illinois University on Friday where the men finish sixth and the women came in seventh.
The HU men had five runners tackle the 8K course in a total time of 2:19.26 with Tyler Herber leading the way. He finished 11th out of 123 runners in 26:19.06. Freshman Eric Baker crossed the line next for Huntington in 27:41.20 to finish 42nd. Not far behind was classmate Austin Presnell who came in 46th in 27:51.91.
Josh Graham (28:30.03) and Stephen Kays (29:04.56) rounded out Huntington’s scoring with a 59th and 64th finish respectively.
Eastern Illinois captured the men’s title with 27 points followed by SIU Edwardsville (59), Illinois Track Club (94), Evansville (130), Murray State (147), HU (161), Missouri Valley (187), Vincennes (202), William Woods (202), Lincoln (319), Benedictine Springfield (322) and Lindenwood (357).
In the women’s 5K that featured 138 runners, Huntington had a solid outing despite competing without two key runners in Gretchen Spahr and Erin Rockey. Hannah Moore paced HU with a 37th place finish in 19:44.14. Cendall Ogle trailed her by less than nine seconds to finish 41st in 19:52.74. Shortly after, Christine Sparks clocked a 19:58.58 to place 44th.
Natalie Spahr finished in 20:33.39 for 60th place while Krista Wood rounded out HU’s scoring by placing 63rd in 20:44.05. Other Forester runners included Miranda Boyts (67th, 20:58.07), Marie Ditzler (83rd, 21:46.23) and Kennedy Champion (123rd, 25:31.09).
Southern Illinois dominated the women’s race with 22 points followed by Eastern Illinois (57), Murray State (92), Evansville (107), SIU Edwardsville (172), Illinois Track Club (190), HU (198), William Woods (219), Vincennes (230), Danville (295), Lindenwood (330), Benedictine Springfield (338), Lincoln (381).
The Foresters are back in action on Saturday when they compete in the Lancer Invitational hosted by Grace College.