On October 29, while most of the student body was sitting comfortably inside their dorm rooms watching the unseasonable snowfall, sledding down the Kea-Guffin hill or taking part in the Dia del Este festivities, Eastern’s cross country team lined up for their MAC championship race in their short shorts and singlets. Through five inches of snow, the runners trekked around Messiah’s campus on dirt trails, up and down significant hills and through mud pits, dodging falling trees and branches while racing their opponents through the heavy snowfall.
Despite the adverse circumstances, both the men’s and women’s teams had strong showings. The women’s team placed 8th overall with Senior Whitney Kerner and Freshman Josey Rupert leading them with times of 26:39.10 and 27:03.40 respectively for the 6k. The men’s team finished in 10th place despite only having five guys on the team, and first-year Caleb Fitzgerald stepped up as their top runner that day, running the 8k in 31:43.80.
Compared to last year’s conference meet, the winning times were more than two minutes slower due to the difficult course and inclement weather. Nevertheless, Eastern’s cross country team was able to run strong that day without sustaining any lasting injuries.