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Tech XC Shows Out at Lewis Crossover

Tech XC Shows Out at Lewis Crossover

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – The Michigan Tech cross country teams earned top-six team finishes at the Lewis Crossover, on Saturday morning in Romeoville, Illinois. The No. 15 men of Michigan Tech started the day with a fourth-place finish (102 points), while the No. 29 women placed sixth overall (193 points).

The Huskies placed fourth overall in a stacked field, scoring 102 points. The men's race showcased six teams in the top-30 with four regions represented. Michigan Tech was led by Drew Kolodge, running a scorching time of 23:58.7 to take fifth place, a time that very well could be the fastest ever run by a tech athlete. Houghton native Clayton Sayen added to the 1-2 punch running 24:05.4 for sixth place. The duo had the second-best 1-2 finish in the team standings after Colorado Christian went 2-3.

"The men ran some blazing times today in what I consider a good performance,'' assistant head coach Robert Young said. "It seemed like some of the field had some great days and in tight competitions that can be the difference."

No. 9 ranked Colorado Christian won the race scoring 47 points, No. 25 Illinois-Springfield had a great day, placing second with 80 points, No. 26 Western Washington also had a day, taking third place, scoring 82 points. The men of Michigan Tech were close behind in fourth with 102 points, while GLIAC foe Saginaw Valley State rounding out the top-5 with 115 points.

"Drew's sub 24 minute 8k is just ridiculously fast," head coach Kristina Owen added. "Clayton also crushed it, running a big PR while battling a persistent side stitch that hampered his final kick. We saw a lot of great races and big PR's from the team today, and I'm really happy with how we performed."

The Huskies were in fifth place at the first split marker somewhere after two miles with Kolodge and Sayen sitting fourth and fifth, respectively.

At the second split, the Black & Gold had moved up to third place, with Kolodge and Sayen holding down fifth and sixth place. Sam Lange moved up to 22nd place while Tucker Ringhand (36th place) and Nick McKenzie (41st place) rounding out the scorers.

Many teams had movement between the second split, somewhere after 5,000m and the finish. Following the low sticks in Kolodge and Sayen, Lange placed 18th (24:32.8). The fourth and fifth runners for the Black & Gold finished 33rd and 43rd in McKenzie (24:49.7) and Ringhand (24:54.3).

Of note, the top-11 finisher for the Huskies all ran sub 26, with the top 5 dipping under 25 minutes.

The women's race also highlighted multiple teams within the national rankings with No. 13 Minnesota Duluth, No. 14 Colorado Christan, No. 15 Lewis, No. 16 Winona State, No. 18 Western Washington, No. 26 Saginaw Valley State and No. 29 Michigan Tech. 

"The women continue to impress us and took another step forward today," coach Young said. "They've gotten better each time out and still have room to improve from here. Their cohesiveness and chemistry this year are outstanding and as they continue to grow and work together we expect we will continue to surprise some people."

Senior Michelle Bollini paced the Huskies through the first split, holding down the 14th position, with the team being in 10th overall.

The Black & Gold remained in 10th as a team, passing the second mat on the course, with the Huskies top-three among the top fifty spots. Bollini moved up one spot to 13th place, with Jesse Jacobusse in 45th place and Elsa Huckles in 48th place.

Bollini was the top runner for the Black & Gold, crossing the finish line in 12th place, running 22:08.3. Senior Sam Kurkowski, whose chip did not register through the first two splits, placed 30th for the Huskies in 22:38.3. The other scorers on the day were Jacobusse in 43rd place (22:56.0), Huckles in 49th place (23:06.3) and Hannah Loughlin in 60th place (23:19.9).

The top-10 finishers for MTU were all sub 24:30, with the top-five being under 23:20.

"The extended season this year means this race sits differently in our schedule than normal.  Usually, it's directly before our conference meet and we're closing in on peak shape," Owen added. "This year we're still a month out, and still very much in build mode. Some of these teams just outran us with their turnover on the flats, but we're where we need to be at this point in the season. Our 4th place finish for the Men and 6th place finish for the Women is the best we've ever finished as a combined program."

The Huskies return to action, traveling to the Warrior Challenge on Saturday, October 22.