NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – The Trine University men's cross country season began with the Thunder competing against four other schools at the annual Hokum Karem meet hosted by Manchester (Ind.) University. As a team, the Thunder posted a team total of six points to take top honors, marking the fourth straight year Trine has done so.
The Hokum Karem format features pairs of runners alternating one-mile laps around the course. Each runner in the pairing runs four miles for a combined eight-mile distance. Trine runners took the top four individual team spots en route to their six points. Scores were added by totaling up the placement from the top three pairs from each school, with the lowest total earning the victory.
Trine was led by the duo of Jonathan Phillips (Royal Center, Ind./Pioneer) and Lewis Duke (Greentown, Ind./Eastern) who posted combined overall time of 39:21.9 and averaged a 4.55 minute mile to take top honors. Noah Acker (Kendallville, Ind./East Noble) and Derek Miller (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview) were second with a combined time of 39:45.9 (4.58/M) and Levi Neuzerling (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) and Nick Zak (St. John, Ind./Hanover Central) finished close behind in third with an overall mark of 40:01.3 (5:00/M). Rounding out the top four finishes in the race were Kody Snyder (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) and Collin Elek (Osceola, Ind./Penn) who finished just over seven seconds behind Neuzerling and Zak at 40:08.5 (5:01/M).
The Thunder had four other tandems finish in the top-10 with Vilis Vaskalns (Indianapolis, Ind./Beech Grove) and Jordan Zamarron (Ionia, Mich./Ionia) finishing sixth with a combined time of 40:36.3 (5:05/M). Jack Beakas (Auburn, Ind./Dekalb) and Alex Amaro (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran) were seventh at 40:41.6 (5:05/M) and the team of Harrison Korkos (Rochester, Ind./Rochester) and Scott Beckmann (Auburn, Ind./Dekalb) posted the ninth overall finish at 41:30.0 (5:11/M).
Zach Phillips (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) and Cody Verhey (Paragon, Ind./Martinsville) averaged a 5:12 mile to end the overall event with a total time of 41:37.5 to place 10th.
Trine will next compete in the Ohio Wesleyan University Invitational next Saturday, Sept. 9 at Liberty Park in Powell, Ohio. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.