HOUGHTON For the first time in 13 years, Michigan Tech hosted the GLIAC Cross Country Championships. The challenging course and cold weather benefited the men's team, which finished sixth overall, the best finish in five years for the Huskies. The women's team placed 12th overall.
"The men might have exceeded expectations some GLIAC teams had for us," Tech coach Joe Haggenmiller said. "The guys met our expectations as a team and we thought we were very capable of doing what we did. We went out and had a very good day."
Kyle Hanson paced the men's team with a 29th place finish. He finished the eight-kilometer race in 26:27.4. Jani Lane was six seconds back in 32nd place.
"I was really excited to see the race that Kyle Hanson threw down," Haggenmiller said. "The rest of the guys were packed right there behind him and it's exciting that our team is running in a tight pack."
Also scoring for the Huskies were Jason Saliga (34th), Evan Krzyske (42nd) and Bradon Kampstra (43rd). Sean Pengelly (47th) and Eric Parsell (65th) also ran for the Black and Gold in the GLIAC Men's Championship race.
The men's team totaled 180 points and had its best finish since 2008 when they tied for sixth. The last time the men's team finished better than sixth was 2002 (5th).
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Ahead of Tech in the 15-team field were Grand Valley State (21), Malone (92), Ashland (119), Hillsdale (119) and Ferris State (150). Brent Showerman of GVSU took the individual title with a time of 25:18.8.
The Michigan Tech women's team finished 12th overall in the field of 15. Sarah Daniels led the Huskies in 38th place. She crossed the six-kilometer finish line in 23:53.7. Cassie Bobart was 23 seconds back in 53rd place. Deedra Irwin and Marissa Yovetich ran together, finishing 67th and 68th. Sonja Hedblom (72nd), Carolyn Lucca (78th) and Rachel Mason (79th) rounded out Tech runners in the GLIAC Women's Championship race.
"The women went out there and ran as hard as they could," Haggenmiller added. "We had a little bit of a mixed bag. Sarah Daniels had probably one of the best races of her life and that was super exciting."
Tech totaled 298 points in the women's race. GVSU won the women's championship with 30 points. Samantha Johnson from Ferris State won the individual title with a time of 21:57.1.
"It's a challenging course and a unique experience for a lot of the athletes," said Haggenmiller. "It was a good championship experience the student-athletes had and it was nice for us to not be traveling. It's always good to run at home and we had some support with Tech fans and parents cheering us on."