NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Three sophomores and a senior played key roles in the final outcomes for Manchester University cross country Friday, Sept. 1.
Sophomores Emily Lynn (North Manchester, Ind.) and Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) teamed up to guide the women to an 18-point outing at the season-opening Hokum Karem competed on the university's athletic fields course. They clocked a combination 37:59 flat, just a second ahead of the duo of junior Samina Qureshi (Columbia City, Ind.) and freshman Hayley Musser (Oxford, Ind.) (38:00) who ended fourth. The two top five teams did their best to catch a red-hot Trine University squad but couldn't overcome three Thunder pairings ending in the top five, as TU took first on the team standings (eight points).
Coach Geoff Lambert's men's squad was led by senior Blake Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and sophomore Sam Barnard (Indianapolis, Ind.), taking a top 10 finish of eighth (40:56.1). Freshmen Kole Kelley (Decatur, Ind.) and Lucas Fontanez (Lowell, Ind.) were just outside similar territory, taking 11th (41:40.7). The Black and Gold's 21 team points put them second, while Trine wrapped up a team title sweep in impressive fashion, scoring just six points due to registering the top four tandems.
"Hey, we're excited to be able to open the home athletic calendar on a beautiful night," Lambert noted. "We wanted to be better than the alumni race, and for the most part, we were. There are things that need to be worked on, but getting through this healthy was also important, so that is a plus.
The next step is to get some strong practices in and work towards the Indiana Intercollegiates," he added. "(The athletes) will be able to get into a routine now with class, practices and their collegiate schedules."
Manchester University joins the small college field at the 2017 Indiana Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Friday, Sept. 15.