For the third year in a row, the ICC women finished as one of the top dozen teams in the nation by virtue of a 12th place finish at the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Nationals held at Spartanburg, SC yesterday. They were led by Michelle Carter, who finished in 40th place with a PR 19:27, which moved her into the 4th position on the all-time women's list with the 8th fastest performance. Other scorers for the Cougars were Raven Pettry (20:10), Kayla Christ (20:35), Deidra Klaus (20:56), and Jordyn Hull (21:13). A gutsy Danie Fisher was the 6th finisher with 21:58, followed by Olivia Renken, who's 22:29 was a huge PR. The sophomore trio of Michelle, Raven, and Kayla retire as the 4th, 7th, and 8th fastest Cougars all-time.
The men didn't quite achieve their goal of finishing in the top 25, but came close with a 27th place finish in the strong field. Ryan Van Fossen led the way with a time of 27:15, good for 84th place. Sophomores Nick Leiby and David Lawson ran 28:14 and 28:26 respectively, while freshmen Trenton Hopper and Brett Curry followed with 28:37 and 28:43. To this coach's recollection, that is the first time we have had 5 guys under 29:00 in the national meet. Clayton Gale PR'd with 31:22 and Caleb Ulrich ran 34:35 as the 6th and 7th Cougar runners.
A great year ends with lots of good memories. This team will be missed.