GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Goshen College men's cross country team continued its preparations for the Crossroads League Championships by taking part in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge in Grand Rapids on Saturday.
In an enormous field featuring 10 teams who appeared in the latest NAIA national rankings, the Maple Leafs tallied 234 points to finish seventh overall.
Five of the six teams who they trailed were in the NAIA Top 25, including three in the Top 10. Sixth-place Saint Xavier had received votes in the poll along with Goshen, who also topped vote getters Olivet Nazarene, Indiana Tech, and Saint Ambrose at the event.
"The men raced well against the competition," head coach Doug Yoder said before adding that, "we ended up in front of some teams we had finished behind earlier in the season."
For the fourth-straight event, senior Billy Funk and sophomore Moses Kaelo were the front runners for Goshen and they both used a strong final sprint to do so. Funk ran the 16th fastest final mile (5:18.76) of the entire 350-plus man field to finish 25th overall (26:00.14), while Kaelo's 5:26.52 last mile was the 20th best leading him to a 35th-place 26:14.45.
A trio of sophomores capped Goshen's top five with Jordan Smeltzer clocking in at 26:23.27, Daniel Zelaya in 26:45.41 and Alejandro Rodriguez crossing the 8k line in 26:57.41.
Nine of the ten Crossroads League programs were on hand for the event with the noticeable exclusion being NAIA #14 Spring Arbor. The only league opponent to finish in front of Goshen on Saturday, Indiana Wesleyan, will host the Crossroads League Championships on November 3.
7. Goshen College - 234 points
25. Billy Funk - 26:00.14
35. Moses Kaelo - 26:14.45
43. Jordan Smeltzer - 26:23.27
61. Daniel Zelaya - 26:45.41
70. Alejandro Rodriguez - 26:57.41
90. Oscar Joses Kirwa - 27:11.25
100. Lucas Harnish - 27:23.86
Brock Gunderkline - 27:36.70
Tim Lehman - 27:52.14
Tijs Buskermolen - 28:55.14
Jacob Gunderkline - 29:04.83
Andrew Witkowski - 29:24.26
Abe Stucky - 30:22.00
Juan Carlos Diaz - 32:37.73
Mitchell Brickson - 33:01.86
Quinn Brenneke - 35:23.11
Nick Handrich - 35:25.01
Garrett Ahlgrim - 36:38.53
Ron Sandhyapagu - 38:30.58