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September 15, 2017

Cross-Country huddle

The men's cross-country team huddles during Hokum Karem

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics

Manchester Hosts Hokum Karem Cross-Country Meet 


Cleopatra Castanias


Cross-country season kicked off for both men’s and women’s teams on Friday, Sept. 1, at the Hokum Karem, an annual meet hosted by Manchester University. It took place behind the university’s Physical Education and Recreation Center (PERC), with the women’s runners alternating one-mile loops for a total of six miles (each woman ran a total of three miles). The men’s runners also alternated one-mile loops for a total of eight miles (each man ran a total of four miles). 

This event marked the start of season for the women’s two-time defending cross-country team, with sophomore runners Emily Ewen (Wolcott, Ind.) and Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.), registering 98 points and eight first-place votes. The pair was 15 points and six first-place votes ahead of the projected runner-up, Bluffton University. MU’s men’s team earned 85 points and one first-place vote, trailing only the preseason pick Rose-Hulman (98 points/eight first-place votes).
 
At the end of the day, the women’s cross-country program captured its third successive title, while the men’s team looked to return to the top spot at the Hokum Karem for the first time since tying Trine in 2014. Overall, the Spartans placed second with 21 points at their opening meet.

This cross-country season is off and running. New goals and plans are present within both the men and women’s teams and their respective individuals. The year may be a season of rebuilding but, according to Cameron Kimmell (Michigantown, Ind.) “The men’s team plans to go for third in the conference and place in the top half of the region.” 

As for the women’s team, “Our main goal is to keep our Conference Champ record since we are picked to win it,” said Taylor Grehl (Dearborn, Mich.). “We just want to do or best no matter how far that gets us.” 

Both of MU’s cross-country teams are aiming to do their best and be the best that they can be; Ewen mentioned how close-knit the team is this year. “It’s great to be close to one another, but it’s necessary we push each other when we’re doing our work,” she said. “It feels as though we’ve been doing a good job at keeping one another accountable.”

Not only are both teams setting goals, helping one another stride closer towards the goals that they’ve set, but also individuals are setting personal goals. Jamie McBride (Elkhart, Ind.) said that she’s looking forward to improving throughout the season, along with how excited she is to witness how far the team goes.
 
Already, the 2017 cross-country season has many individuals keen and eager to see how the season will play out. “I am looking forward to see how the whole team is going to pull together so that [they] can be the best [that they] can be,” said Samina Qureshi (Columbia City, Ind.). “I am personally looking forward to exceeding expectations and having a great time doing it!”

Both of the Black and Gold’s cross-country teams are preparing for their next meet, today, Sept. 15. Manchester University will be joining the small college field at the 2017 Indiana Intercollegiate Championships at the Boilermaker Cross Country Course, hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Coach Geoff Lambert is starting his third year as Manchester University’s head cross country coach for both the men’s and women’s teams. Helping him are assistant coaches Brian Cashdollar and Kaylea Jachno.