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Foresters compete at annual NAIA Great Lakes Challenge

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. With two weeks until the Cross League Championships, Saturday's race, the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, was a good gauge for the Forester cross country teams to see where they stand among their league foes.

The 27th-ranked HU women claimed 9th out of 35 teams with 237 points, finishing ahead of seven Crossroads League teams while chasing Indiana Wesleyan (3rd) and Taylor (4th).

Leading the HU harriers was Hannah Moore who ran an 18:54 to finish 11th overall out of 367 runners. The next three Foresters finished within seven seconds of each other. Gretchen (Spahr) Pyper ran a 19:36 to claim 48th followed by Krista Wood (50th, 19:41) and Erin Rockey (52nd, 19:43).

Christine Sparks rounded out Huntington's scoring by running a 20:08 for 76th place. Other Forester runners included Natalie Spahr (78th, 20:09) and Marie Ditzler (97th, 20:26).

Shawnee State took top honors with 122 points. Rounding out the top ten included Aquinas (131), Indiana Wesleyan (135), Taylor (136), St. Francis (IL) (185), Texas Wesleyan (207), Indiana Tech (219), Olivet Nazarene (222), HU (237) and Cornerstone (238).

The other Crossroads teams finished as follows: Marian (13th, 325), Spring Arbor (16th, 542), Grace (19th, 581), Goshen (20th, 596), Mount Vernon (23rd, 627), Saint Francis (24th, 659) and Bethel (27th, 798).

On the men's side, the Foresters finished 19th out of 35 teams which included beating Grace and Saint Francis. Seven league competitors topped HU with Indiana Wesleyan leading the way by taking 2nd.

Eric Baker paced Huntington by finishing 80th out of 375 runners in 27:40. Brian Menzie crossed the line next for his team in 28:09 for 99th place. Austin Presnell wasn't far behind, running a 28:15 to claim 108th. Zach McIntyre (126th, 28:38) and Josh Graham (171th, 29:51) rounded out HU's scoring. Other Forester runners included Codi Wiersema (196th, 30:47) and Ben Gammon (233rd, 34:48).

Olivet Nazarene claimed the men's title with 77 points. Finishing ahead of HU included Indiana Wesleyan (84), St. Francis (IL) (93), Aquinas (107), Marian (177), Taylor (193), Goshen (239), Indiana Tech (249), Shawnee State (251), Spring Arbor (340), Bethel (397), Texas Wesleyan (429), Cornerstone (441), Davenport (484), Mount Vernon (493) Lawrence Tech (537), Hannibal-LaGrange (574), Calumet St. Joseph (580) and HU (584).

Grace finished 26th with 676 points while Saint Francis only had two finishers.

Next up for Huntington is the Crossroads League Championships slated for November 8 at Taylor University.