NORTH CANTON, Ohio—The Lake Erie College cross country teams opened their season at the Ric Sayre Invitational hosted by Walsh University Friday (Sept. 2).
The women competed in a 5k while the men competed in an 8k.
Gina Henley (Akron, Ohio/Akron) had the top finish for the Storm women, placing 12th with a time of 20:08.44. Catherine Beisel (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) placed 24th with a time of 21:08.53. That time set a school record in the 5k, besting the previous time of 20:12. Hailey VanHoy (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) finished with a time of 21:52.81 to place 33rd. Sage Beauregard (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkson) finished 40th with a time of 22:51.86. Emily Kotfis (East Liverpool, Ohio/East Liverpool) rounded out the top five of the Storm in 47th with a time of 24:47.58.
The Storm women finished fourth with an average time of 22:09.85.
"Gina ran a tough race," said Storm Head Coach Grant Lofdahl. "She put in a lot of work this summer in the 4K For Cancer run across the USA, and now she's starting to realize her potential. Catherine Beisel did a very nice job as well. She was usually our sixth or seventh runner last year, so she did a nice job stepping into the number two spot."
DJ Graham (Gomer, Ohio/Columbus Grove) had the top finish for the Storm men, placing third with a time of 25:33.45. His time also set a school record, besting the previous best of 25:33. Jordan Pritchard (Painesville, Ohio/Lake Catholic) finished just behind Graham in fourth with a time of 25:53.30. Vincent Horning (Stow, Ohio/Stow) finished in 18th place with a time of 26:48.57. George Lesnak (Mantua, Ohio/Crestwood) placed 22nd with a time of 27:24.51. Logan Ebersole (Chesterville, Ohio/Highland) had the fifth best time for Storm, 28:14.15.
The men averaged a finishing time of 26:46.80 to place third as a team.
"DJ and Jordan both had tremendous summers of training, and they're seeing the results of that already," remarked Lofdahl. "This was a low-key meet and by no means were we fresh today; to have a school record and a 30-second PR is very encouraging for those two. George Lesnak had a PR as well, and Vince and Logan will make major progress in the next few weeks."
"Overall, we had a nice start to the season," concluded Lofdahl. "We have a lot of work do in closing the gaps between our top-five runners, and that's what cross country is all about. I'm excited to see what this group can do in the next two months."
The Storm is back in action Sept. 17 at the Otterbein Invitational.