The Paw Print
Adams State Men’s cross-country team took third place at Paul Short invite in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Senior Kevin Batt led the team in 8th place, with an impressive time of 23:56. The race was eight kilometers, meaning that he averaged 4:49 minute miles.
The race was stacked with over forty teams, including NCAA Division one universities such as Georgetown, Yale, and Harvard.
Once again the Grizzlies proved that they could hold their own against giant universities as they finished closely behind the U.S. Naval Academy in first and second place Guelph University. Within two seconds of Batt, senior Matt Daniels finished 10th place with Tabor Stevens in 13th. Other great races for the men’s team came from sophomore Jack Espeset and freshman Chad Palmer, who ran 46 seconds faster than his personal record.
“Experiencing that type of intensity in a race was great practice for big races in the future. This race was an experience and very educational about what to expect in races like this one,” Palmer said. “As a team our goal is to improve as much as we can this season. The big focus has always been the National Cross Country meet. We want to win the National meet this year,” Palmer recalls.
Grizzly women also did remarkably well in a field of over 400 competitors. The women placed 13th, right in front of Harvard University. Most of the team ran their personal best times on this course including Lauren Martin who finished 33d overall.
Close behind Martin was Junior Maura O’Brien who ran 21:24 minutes for a six-kilometer course. Sophomore Jenna Thurman ran a personal best time of 21:30, averaging 5:46 minute miles. “I was very happy; I beat my personal record by thirty seconds,” Thurman said. She was proud of her team, “Even though we were all farther back than we wanted to be, we all ran personal bests.”
Thurman was 82nd place with Tayler Warren and Melissa Roberts finishing the scoring for the team, both with incredible races. The girls found the large race intimidating at first, “it was scary because we were all lost in a pack of 400 girls. I even went out in a 5:30 mile and was still trapped.” recalls Thurman. The team made the best of the day and pulled out some fantastic performances.
Both the Adams State men and women’s team sported pink embroidered jerseys to honor breast cancer awareness month in October. The team also pinned on green ribbons in honor of Adams State alumni Drew Graham who suffered a spinal injury recently. The green ribbons are to honor him and bring awareness to his condition because treatment now and in the future can be expensive. Palmer hopes that, “we were able to raise more awareness by wearing the ribbons for him.” Once again the cross-country team represented Adams State well on their road to Nationals in December.