Men’s cross country takes 12th place in Michigan State Spartan Invitational

October 03, 2016

Halle Thornton

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Out of 31 teams, men’s cross country finished at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational on Sept. 16 at No. 12.

As more teams raced in the Spartan Invitational, the competition increased since their first place win in their first meet on Sept. 2 at the Rust Buster in Monument Valley Park, Colo.

In their preseason, the men’s team were also named seventh in the RMAC Preseason coaches’ poll.

The team, consisting of 30 runners, scored 330 points, placing them ahead of two Division I teams.

Junior accounting major David Kimaiyo came in seventh in the division II bracket at 25:31, out of the total 405 runners.

Kimaiyo said the invitational was a great experience, although he felt could have had better results.

“The race was bigger than what we are used to and there were a lot of teams and people, but we needed that to see what it was like,” said Kimaiyo.

The team ran on the Sante Fe Trail, Monument Valley Park and around Colorado College to prepare for the invitational, which was held on thick grass, according to Kimaiyo.

“Running in the grass takes a lot out of you, so we practiced on the same level of field we competed at,” said Kimaiyo.

Nutrition and biology major Seth Polich came in at No. 140. Polich said that the invitational was a great experience for the team due to the competition involved with so many participating teams.

“It was crazy and definitely not a meet we were used to. This one had 450 people in the race, (but) our first one had 60,” said Polich.

Polich said the team learned a lot from the invitational, including running together and pacing off of one another.

“Our team is really close. There are a couple older guys including myself who have been through the gauntlet and the freshmen this year are really stepping up,” said Polich.

The Michigan State Spartan invitational gave the runners an idea of what to expect when they head to their next meet.

The men’s team raced in the Oct. 1 Roadrunner Invitational meet at Washington Park in Denver.

On Oct. 22, the team will compete in the RMAC Championships in Spearfish, S.D.