By Brodee Gillam
Both LCC men's and women's cross country teams competed and showed great potential in the "Blue" race of the Greater Louisville Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1.
A total of 41 teams participated in the men's 8K race, while 48 teams ran in the women's 5K. Kentucky, Madonna and Grand Valley State were among the other teams competing.
LCC Cross Country Coach Jim Robinson said he was happy with both performances despite the wet, muggy weather.
"The guys were significantly faster than they were a few weeks before at the Spartan Invitational and the women overall ran faster," Robinson said.
Casey Mossholder again finished first for the lady harriers, placing 25th with a time of 18:53 out of 406 participants.
Freshman Melissa Ricci and sophomore Kaitlyn Beyer weren't far behind, placing 32nd and 52nd with times of 18:58 and 19:22, respectively.
Beyer said, earlier this season the women looked to be a force, which is proving true as every meet passes.
"As opposed to last year (when) only four girls could run together, we have 10 or 12 running together," Beyer said. "Everyone is really close in pace and supporting each other through every hard workout."
The men are showing the depth that makes them national title contenders, with freshman Shawn Bell finishing first for the Stars, and 83rd overall, with a time of 26:44.
Sophomore Carson Alexander was just four seconds behind him with a time of 26:48, placing 91st. The next five LCC harriers were within 37 seconds of each other.
Robinson said the race was great preparation for the NJCAA National Championship race in El Dorado, Kansas.
"The primary reason we made this trip was to get experience for our national championship; the experience of traveling and staying overnight," Robinson said. "But also competing in a big field where you have to push yourself early in the race (is beneficial)."
The Stars' were scheduled to run in the Lansing Invitational on Friday, Oct. 5, with Madonna, Calvin and Hope among the teams competing.
Before the Lansing Invitational, Robinson said he was confident in his team running well at home.
"We want to defend our course the same way a basketball team wants to defend home court and I feel we will run well," Robinson said.