Cross country: Both squads take 2nd at Carbondale meet

| Sports Reporter

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams easily ran into second place in Saturday’s Saluki Invitational Meet in Carbondale, Ill. Pitted against cross country competitors such as Division I Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Division I University of Evansville, the Bears secured second place with a clear margin.

The women’s team combined for 48 points, falling 14 points behind the first-place team, Southern Illinois University, and beating the third-place team, Murray State, by 16 points. The men’s team defeated the third-place team, University of Evansville, by 22 points. Despite their strong performance, the men were unable to overcome Southern Illinois University’s perfect score of 15 points.

The teams were challenged by the elements and were unable to meet some of their personal best times. The field was muddy and unforgiving to the runners.

“Because of the muddy conditions the meet was more about competing than time, and we did a great job of that,” senior Molly Schlamb said. The women had nine runners in the top 25, while the men had seven in the top 25 finishers. Leading the way for the women was sophomore Liz Phillips in sixth place, Schlamb at seventh and junior Jess Londeree in 11th.

“Everything we do is geared towards qualifying for the NCAA’s regional meet in November,” senior men’s co-captain Zach Griffen said.

Although many of the runners are out due to injury, some new runners, such as freshman David Hamm and sophomore Malik Nabulsi, have been huge additions to the team, Griffen said.

Hamm paced the Bears, finishing sixth overall with a time of 26 minutes and 33 seconds, while Nabulsi came in seventh. The men’s race was very competitive, with eventual winner SIU’s Jason Ordwar finishing just eight seconds ahead of Hamm. Junior Erik Hinrichsen came in 13th overall, rounding out the Wash. U. top three. The men are determined to make a name for themselves and perform as best as they can every time, members of the cross country team said.

The team travels to Louisville, Ky., next week to represent the Red and Green against some Division I teams in one of the biggest invitational meets of the season. The meet is incredibly important for qualifying for the NCAA regionals in November.

“Last week was some great practice for bigger meets such as next week’s,” Griffen said. “Hopefully, it won’t be covered in mud again.”

The entire team hopes to qualify together for regionals in November and really put Wash. U. on the map for cross country.

“This year’s team is really special, and I believe when November comes, we will be ready to achieve some really great things,” Schlamb said.

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