Cross country host GLVC and win

Lucas Snider

USI hosted and won both the men’s and women’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Cross Country (GLVC) Championships Saturday morning.

The top three finishers in the men’s race were Brendan Devine, Michael Jordan and Tyler Pence, all of USI.

“I don’t think we’ve gone 1-2-3 since 1980,” coach Mike Hillyard said.

“It feels fantastic,” said Devine, who posted an individual time of 24:29.4. “The fact that I had my teammates all around me today was a big deal. I’m a senior, so this is just an amazing way to go out.”

The men’s squad, ranked sixth in the nation, took eight of the top 25 positions and posted a combined top five time of 2:04:24.2 in the 8,000-meter race. USI finished with 27 points, followed by Bellarmine with 53. Fourth and fifth place individually in the race went to Evan Lewandowski of Wisconsin Parkside and Jordan Parayil of Bellarmine, respectively.

It was the seventh consecutive conference title for the men and their 19th in 33 years of the GLVC.

The women won their 6,000-meter event with a combined top five time of 1:51:43. They were followed closely by last year’s winner, Bellarmine, which posted a time of 1:51:51.7. In the points, it was USI with 40 points, Bellarmine 46 and Parkside 63.

“On the women’s side we knew it would be close,” Hillyard said. “We talked the whole season about how close this race would be. Through our top three in the chute (Bellarmine was) one point up on us, so it really came down to our four and five getting it done.”

Senior All American Jackie Henderson won first place overall with an individual time of 21:38.3, and the Eagles nabbed five other slots in the top 25 including fourth-place Lauren Minor.

“I’m really glad I could win my final race here at home,” Henderson said. “It was special to have all those people out there cheering for us. It really pumped us up and helped us win the race.”

According to Henderson the women’s squad overcame a considerable amount of adversity in wining the GLVC championship.

“Two of our varsity runners couldn’t run today,” she said. “They would have been top three to five finishers.”

The Eagles next compete in the Midwest Regionals in Big Rapids, Mich., on Nov. 5.