On Friday, Sept. 14, both Cardinal cross country teams competed at the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing. The men’s and women’s teams finished 4th and 7th, respectively.
The men were led with two top 10 finishes in CarLee Stimpfel 4th and Ryan Talbott 10th while the women were led by Jenna Keiser’s 21st place finish. With 337 athletes finishing the men’s race and 291 in the women’s, both teams showed promising performances.
The women kicked off the day with a 6,000 meter race at Forest Akers East golf course.
Finishing 2nd for the Cardinals and 27th overall, junior Morgan Fuerst used the meet as an opportunity to see how other teams will race come championship season.
“It was helpful to see how the team compares with other teams in the GLIAC and for who we need to watch out for at conference,” Fuerst said.
The Lady Cards finished one spot behind Northern Michigan, 247-230, respectively.
Rounding out the top five for the women were Keiser, Fuerst, Sydney Kreger, Katelyn Spooner and Arianna Wegienka.
Following the women’s race was the men’s 8,000 meter competition. The Cardinals put up several competitive times.
One of those performances came from junior standout, Ryan Talbott, who bested his lifetime personal record from 25:33 to 25:18 at the 8,000 meter distance. Talbott had a plan going into the race.
“My personal strategy was to stay with Grand Valley’s second guy. I did that all the way to the 5k then I started to move up,” he said. “It has always worked out for me to stay with those guys. They are consistent runners and that worked in my favor today.”
Talbott was quick to commend the work of fellow teammate and freshman, Sam Deardorff.
“Deardorff, our 4th guy today, ran the most impressive race on the guys side,” Talbott said. “It really made me proud to see that he’s helping our team out already.”
Deardorff ran a best of 26:26, placing 60th in the race.
Scoring for the Cards were CarLee Stimpfel, Talbott, Dayton Brown, Deardorff and Branden Bohling.
Next up for the Cardinals is the Wayne State Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Willow Metropark in New Boston, Michigan.