OBERLIN, OHIO -- Senior Robert Lewis Duke (Greentown, Ind./Eastern) placed in the top-15 individually to lead the Trine University men's cross country team to a fifth place finish at the annual Inter-Regional Rumble hosted by Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
As a team, the Thunder posted an overall score of 199 points to place fifth of 31 teams. DePauw University won the team title with 83 points. John Carroll (Ohio) University was second with 106 points and the University of Mount Union (Ohio) was third with 125 points.
Duke paced the Trine men with a time of 25:48.0, finishing 39 seconds behind the leader and averaged 5:11.5 per mile to place 12th overall out of 265 total runners. Freshman Jack Beakas (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) was the next Thunder competitor to complete the 8k course with a mark of 26:27.9.
Fellow freshman Noah Acker (Kendallville, Ind./East Noble) followed fourth spots behind Beakas after running a time of 26:35.5. Sophomore Vilis Vuskalns (Indianapolis, Ind./Beech Grove) placed amongst the top-50 athletes at 26:43.6. Freshman Derek Miller (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview) had the fifth quickest time for the team at 26:51.1 and was followed closely behind by junior Nicholas Zak (St. John, Ind./Hanover Central) who had a mark of 26:51.8.
Freshman Alex Amaro (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) rounded out the top marks for the Trine runners, crossing the finish line in a time of 27:30.6.
"We had a tough week of practice, but the team came out and performed well," said Head Coach Zach Raber. "Lewis Duke was in the top 15, which was the goal going into it. We ran without Jonathan Phillips and Kody Snyder today, but Noah Acker had a huge PR to pick up the slack. Our freshmen guys continue to impress. Nick Zak was also very tough today getting back into our top-7. With our conference meet in two weeks, we continue to build confidence."
In addition to competing in the 8k "Varsity" race, the Thunder also had individuals run in the "Open" race. As a group, Trine placed third overall in the event with a team total of 111 points. John Carroll was first at 33 points and Case Western Reserve (Ohio) University was second with 74 points.
Individually, freshman Harrison Korkos (Rochester, Ind./Rochester) posted the top overall time at 27:39.6 and placed 12th overall. Freshman Neil O'Brien (Whiteland, Ind./Roncalli) followed three spots back in 15th place after completing the 8k course in a time of 27:39.6.
Junior Paul Baker (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East) ran a 5:41.1 per mile pace and finished with an overall mark of 28:15.5. Freshman Clay Obergfell (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) was third on the team with a mark of 28:54.8 and was followed by sophomore Scott Beckmann (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) who ran a time of 29:08.5.
Sophomore Casey Hardin (Sherwood, Mich./Athens) posted a time of 29:37.1, followed by junior Mitch Kolito (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) who ran a time of 29:54.9. Completing the roster of Trine athletes in the race were freshmen Alex Garcia (Adrian, Mich./Madison), Cory Charles (South Bend, Ind./Riley), Josh Toppen (South Bend, Ind./Riley) and Alex Walters (South Bend, Ind./Riley).
Garcia posted a mark of 31:06.6, while Charles and Toppen finished back-to-back with marks of 31:21.3 and 31:27.4, respectively. Walters crossed the finish line in a time of 32:53.4.
The men's cross country team will take next week off and will then compete in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28. Adrian (Mich.) College will serve as host of the event with the first race set to begin at 11 a.m.