By ELEANOR HANSSLER
This past Saturday, Cross Country competed in the 45th Stanford Invitational in which only the top seven male and female runners were taken. Hosted on the Stanford University Golf Course, the race involved a three-day trip for the runners and was the cumulation of well over one-hundred teams from various schools all across California.
The Boys team consisted of: senior Christopher Lohmeyer, juniors Ryan Duffy, Raja Batra, Adam Gish, Ethan Jenkins and sophomores Dylan Muniz and Michael Blinsturb. The Girls team featured: senior Cecilia Langlois, junior Avery Klauke, sophomores Collette Lowengrub, Vani Tankha and Marta Meinardi, and freshman Alissa Kopolyova.
Both teams raced well against the competition, with many of the runners setting PR’s (Personal records) or placing high. One such runner was Lowengrub, who ran with a time of 19:05, placing sixth in her race out of 193 girls. Klauke, close behind, placed 11th, running a 19:16. Both of their times helped to contribute to the overall placement of the Girl’s teams at 13th out of 28 other teams.
Ryan Duffy, the fastest male runner for University, finished the race with a time of 16:56. Duffy placed 62nd out of 211 runners. Behind him was Raja Batra, who, with a time of 17:44 placed 132nd. Overall, Boy’s Cross Country placed 25th out of 27 other teams.
“The race was a lot harder than I expected…[although] the trip was pretty fun”. Duffy said on the invitational.
Besides being much farther away, the Stanford race also was notably different due to its distance: 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) rather than the traditional three. The early timing of the race was also a contributing factor to the slightly slower times, as the wet grass made running difficult.
“The course was a 5k and the grass was wet. [But] overall it was a fun experience and we performed well as a team” Tankha said, who finished with a time of 22:58.
However, one of the downsides of the race was the timing of it, which meant that all runners involved would miss both the Homecoming Football game and dance. Despite this, the level of dedication of many of these varsity runners made accepting the Invitation to compete at Stanford an easy decision.
“Missing homecoming was definitely annoying, but the opportunity to represent UNI by performing well at a state level meet and a chance to grow stronger as a team was priceless. Plus, it was a good confidence boost leading into our first league meet of the season,” Meinardi said.
Jenkins, one of the Boy’s Cross Country Captains, commented on the tough race conditions and how they affected the runners and their times.
“Our teams were not expecting the tough conditions, and a lot of us did not have a great race. Nevertheless it was still a very fun experience overall,” Jenkins said.
Cross Country’s next meet, which also happens to be the Boys’ G.O.W., takes place this Thursday, October 4th, at Mason Park.