Men Place Third at MIAA Cross Country Championships

Men Place Third at MIAA Cross Country Championships

ADRIAN, MICH.  --  The Trine University men's cross country team finished third in the annual Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships hosted by Adrian (Mich.) College at the Raisin Valley Golf Club.

As a team, the Thunder totaled 67 points to place third of seven teams.  Calvin (Mich.) College captured the MIAA team title with 22 points and was followed by Albion (Mich.) College in second place with 51 points.

Senior Robert Lewis Duke (Greentown, Ind./Eastern) paced Trine with a top-five finish with a school-record time of 24:41.4 to place fourth overall.  Duke's time surpasses the previous all-time mark of 24:46.0 that was held by Jeff Lauber.  

Freshman Levi Neuzerling (Nobelsville, Ind./Nobelsville) placed in the top-20 at 14th place after completing the course in a time of 25:19.1 and was followed by sophomore Vilis Vuskalns (Indianapolis, Ind./Beech Grove) who placed 17th in a mark of 25:28.4.

Freshman Jack Beakas (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) was the fourth Trine runner to cross the finish line with a time of 25:34.8 which was the 22nd quickest time overall.  Junior Jonathan Phillips (Royal Center, Ind./Pioneer) rounded out the individual scoring times at 25:35.6 which was good enough for 23rd place.

Also competing towards the team qualifying marks were the duo of freshman Derek Miller (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview) and junior Nicholas Zak (St. John, Ind./Hanover Central).  Miller recorded a mark of 25:37.8 and finished 24th overall and Zak ran a time of 25:43.9 to place 26th individually. 

Following the race, the Thunder had two runners qualify for All-Conference in Duke and Neuzerling.  Duke earned first-team honors with his fourth-place showing and Neuzerling garnered second-team accolades with his 14th-place finish.

"The men's team competed well, but just came up short of our second-place goal," said Head Coach Zach Raber.  "Our pack got out too slow through the first mile, but they made up a ton of ground from the second through fourth miles to give us a shot.  Lewis Duke ran a fantastic race to lock up fourth place. Levi's performance was also really good to earn him second-team All-Conference honors.

Trine will next compete in the annual NCAA Divsion III Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Powell, Ohio.  Ohio Wesleyan University will serve as host with the men's race set to begin at 11 a.m.