By Brodee Gillam
It was a great day for running in Louisville with temperatures in the mid-60s.
The LCC cross country teams traveled to Kentucky for the Louisville Classic at Tom Sawyer Park on Sept. 30. Both Stars teams ran in the Blue Race, with LCC being the only two-year school: putting the Stars side-by-side with NCAA DI and DII schools.
The women ran their 5K in a field of 356 runners, 171 of which were in LCC's division (46 total teams). The men ran in a field of 371 runners, 189 in the Stars' division.
The LCC women and men both placed 12th in the classic.
Both of the LCC harrier squads are built to peak later in the season, according to LCC Head Coach Jim Robinson.
"Our training is designed so that as the season goes we'll progress and peak at regionals and nationals," Robinson said. "But the weather has gotten cooler. We had a nearly perfect day to run at Louisville.
"I think the leadership of our sophomore runners is a big factor … and for the most part people have been injury-free."
Sophomore Ashley Lindeman was the first Star to finish the race, finishing 10th overall with a time of 18:36. According to Robinson, Lindeman's time was close to 30 seconds faster than the top LCC runner last year in the same event.
The men's first finisher was sophomore Blake Watson in 28th place at a time of 26:05. Freshmen Alex McCormick and fellow sophomore Shawn Bell were right behind Watson, finishing second and third with times of 26:14 and 26:17, respectively.
Bell said Robinson has Watson, McCormick and himself training in a group, as well as the fourth, fifth and sixth finishers in another group. He said that helps them a lot during the race.
"Coach has us do training in those groups and that definitely helps, especially in the second pack," Bell said. "Them getting stronger and moving closer to the front pack, they're more of the key players than the top three.
"When it comes down to scoring, (it comes down) to the fourth and fifth runners. We can have a top three but we still need that depth and this year we definitely have that second group."
The Stars were scheduled to run in the Lansing Invitational at Grand Woods Park, west of Lansing, on Friday, Oct. 6.