Cross Country kicks off the season with a win

Karisa Picard powers through the last stretch of her first race. The Cardinals started their season off with this meet. They’re coming off a strong 2021/2022 season. Vanguard Photographer | Anna Alexander

Saginaw Valley State opened up its season at the Auto-Owners Invitational hosted by Michigan State University this past Friday (Sept. 16). Coming off a strong 2021/2022 season, the Cardinals looked to build off that momentum and start the new season on a positive note.

In the 6K, the SVSU women’s team placed 6th and witnessed strong performances from Lauren Buckner, Arianna Wegienka and Alexa Keiser. All of which placed within the top 60 of qualifying runners.

Sophomore Kailee Sandoval explained.

“Our pre-race strategy was to run in packs in order to keep each other honest and locked in, which contributed to our success out there,” she said. “Our girls are exactly where we need to be right now to make for a promising season.”

Sandoval credits the coaches with their preparation.

“The coaches have done a great job preparing us for racing,” she said. “It’s still early in the season, so our focus right now is remaining controlled, committed and confident.”

Dayton Brown pushes to finish his race. He ran the 8K. Vanguard Photographer | Anna Alexander

Sandoval explained the importance of maintaining the “Three C’s” and the longterm benefits it has on the season.

“This is helpful because when we get on the line, we know exactly what we need to do, and at which points throughout the race to do them as if it’s just another workout,” she said.

In the 8k, the SVSU men’s team placed 9th and saw top 100 finishes from Dayton Brown, Thomas Hufton, Carson Hersch, Dominic Suliman, Nick Bozarth, Adam Thomas and Corey Bowers. Junior Dayton Brown led the way with a time of 25:28.74, earning a placement of 31.

The Cardinals will look to build off their first meet of the season as they host “Red October” on Oct. 1.

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