The William Penn cross country teams ran the Augustana Twilight on Friday for the second meet of their season. This notoriously difficult meet stood as a great test for both the men’s and women’s groups after last week’s season opener.
Head Coach Cody Ingold was pleased with the three women who competed for the Statesmen in the three-mile race. Rosemary Bailey paced the Blue and Gold with a time of 19:16.44, which was good enough for 90th out of 196 runners in a loaded field.
“In a deep field of NCAA and top NAIA teams, we ran tough and smart,” Ingold said of his team. “All three women bounced back from last week’s race and ran well. Rosemary ran almost a full two minutes faster than she did at this meet last year and Lilly and Sade’ also ran very tough.”
Lilly Walters finished 108th with a time of 19:33.84 and Sade Myers crossed the finish line at 21:59.75, which was good enough for 177th.
The men’s side had enough runners to qualify in the team placing, which Ingold believes is a deceiving measurement of how well his men did. The team finished in 18th place out of 19 qualifying schools, but in looking at the competition, Ingold says it is a wise move to take that result with a grain of salt.
“The team place and score doesn’t reflect on how well we ran,” Ingold said. “In a deep field of NCAA teams and top NAIA teams, we ran tough and smart.”
Heading he pack for the four mile course was Deane Wichelt with a time of 21:17.95, finishing 108th of the loaded field of 231 harriers. He was followed by Saromo Mugisha, who ran at a clip of 21:30.83, finishing 119th. Blake Washington finished 158th with a time of 22:01.91. Carlos Lizama crossed the finish line at 22:19.23 in 168th and right behind him was Nick Thomas with a time of 22:22.11 in 171st.
“The men had a great pack of five runners only separated by 1:05,” Ingold said of his team. “All the returners ran faster than they did at this meet last year.”
Rounding out the running for the Statesmen was the pack of Dustin Ewalt, Jeremy Mooney and Quinton Marshall. Ewalt finished in 194th with a time of 22:58.07. Mooney was not far behind, placing 197th with a time of 23:12.50. Marshall crossed the line in 207th position with a time of 23.49.65.
“Some of the freshmen learned a lesson on race strategy in a fast race,” Ingold said of his newcomers. “I thought they were tough and battled back after a fast first mile.”
After the performances by both of his teams in a very difficult meet, Ingold has the bigger picture in mind as the season heats up.
“Overall it was a million times better than last week,” Ingold stated. “I thought both teams ran well and I feel like we are headed in the right direction.”
The Grand View Invitational in Des Moines on Sept. 20.