Cross Country - Tue, Nov. 23, 2010
Outdoor events always have an added element to contend with, the weather. This past weekend in the NAIA National Cross Country Meet, Georgetown's men and women dealt with the messiest course by far.
The Tigers sent three men and one woman to the meet in Vancouver, Wash., the most the college has ever had compete at the national level. All four competed well considering the conditions. Rain began the Sunday before and by the time Scott Ritter, Brandon Pulliam, Tanner Alexander and Elisha Overpeck laced up their shoes for the race Saturday, it was still raining.
"There were three really strong downpours Thursday," said GC men's coach Todd McDaniel. "We knew the course was going to be very sloppy for the race. The condition of the course made it difficult to run at the pace at which my guys had been training. But it is cross country - rain and mud are a part of it and everyone had to deal with it. Across the board it was a very slow race."
Alexander, who originally thought he had not qualified, led the guys with a time of 28:25. The finish was more than a minute slower than his MSC qualifying time. Pulliam crossed in 28:45, he finished in 27:12 a week earlier in the conference race.
Ritter, hampered also by a nagging injury, finished in 29:21. The senior had been leading the team all season and crossed first for Georgetown at the MSC meet in 27:05.
"It was a tough race for everyone involved that day and no one left really happy about their times," McDaniel said. "For our guys, I told them the important thing was really getting the experience here. Brandon and Tanner are only freshman. It has been a good season and we accomplished a lot. We finished second as a team in the conference for the first time ever. This program is moving in the right direction and it is races such as this that help to further that progress."
Overpeck also struggled with the messy course and finished in 19:55, more than 40 seconds off her pace at the MSC meet the weekend before. The freshman has been running strong all season and finished 183 out of 331 runners, but 36th out of the 80 freshman in the race.
"I am very proud of Elisha," said GC women's coach Betsy Laski. "She worked hard this season and it showed. I look forward to what she will accomplish in the future."