WINONA LAKE, Ind. - The Goshen College men's cross country team won individual and team titles in their traditional meet debut on Saturday.
The Maple Leafs took first, second, and fourth on the way to tallying just 28 points. Crossroads Conference foes Huntington University (41), Grace (89), Saint Francis (109), and Mount Vernon Nazarene (157) were among those who came in behind Goshen at the Grace College Lancer Invitational.
It was the second straight year that the Leafs took both individual and team titles at the event. Sophomore Daniel Zelaya was just one second from repeating as champion, being out sprinted to the finish by senior Billy Funk. Funk clocked in at 26:42, Zelaya in 26:43, and senior Jacob Gunderkline finished fourth in 26:52.
Goshen had three more players finish in the top 15 with Alejandro Rodriguez (27:33.41), Brock Gunderkline (27:37.16), and Jordan Smeltzer (27:42.15) finishing 11th, 12th, and 13th. That put the Maple Leafs' top six all in the top 13 overall and all within one minute of each other.
"The men's team did a great job as a team," head coach Doug Yoder explained. "Funk and Zelaya were second and third by about 10 meters with 200 to go and out sprinted the first-place guy to finish one and two."
"What was most impressive is that we had three guys who could of been in the top 15 or higher who weren't (Jordan Smeltzer, Moses Kaelo who did not finish, and Lucas Harnish who did not run)," Yoder continued. "We are developing a great team 'I got your back' mentality that when someone is not at their best there will be someone there to pick up the pieces."
The Maple Leafs will be back in action on September 21 when they travel to the Brissman-Lundren Invitational hosted by Augustana College.
1. Goshen College - 28 points
1. Billy Funk - 26:42.68
2. Daniel Zelaya - 26:43.91
4. Jacob Gunderkline - 26:52.24
11. Alejandro Rodriguez - 27:33.41
12. Brock Gunderkline - 27:37.16
13. Jordan Smeltzer - 27:42.15
24. Tim Lehman - 28:42.65
26. Tijs Buskermolen - 28:51.17
30. Andrew Witkowski - 29:26.66
37. Abe Stucky - 30:23.16
59. Juan Carlos Diaz - 35:50.31
61. Quinn Brenneke - 39:01.61
62. Barrett Donna - 41:18.73