Leafs News
Smith Lowers Own Record, Leafs Finish In Middle Of Kentucky Fields
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Cross Country - Sat, Oct. 1, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ryan Smith broke the Goshen College men's eight-kilometer cross country record for the fourth time in his career and 11 Maple Leaf runners posted season or career bests on Saturday in the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

A senior and a native of Albion, Indiana, Smith took fourth overall in the Blue Race in 24 minutes, 55.30 seconds, five and a half seconds better than his previous mark from September 26 of last fall. Including Saturday's performance, Smith has run 10 of the 14 fastest times in Goshen history.

Spread over the 4.97-mile course, Smith averaged 5:00.81 per mile; if he trims another 4.02 seconds from that record at any of his team's four possible remaining meets, he would become the first Maple Leaf ever to break the five-minute-mile barrier.

Freshman Steven Cranston was the second Goshen finisher, coming in 68th place with a 26:34.20 time that lowered his collegiate best by 18.6 seconds. He was followed by senior Luke Graber, who turned in a 26:54.26 clocking that marked the third-fastest time of his career despite being within 1.4 seconds of his personal record.

Junior Brenner Burkholder and freshman Juan Perez each shattered their career-best times from 22 days earlier, Perez by nearly 50 seconds and Burkholder by more than 40. Luke Kaufman and Alex Steiner finished in season-best times to round out the Maple Leaf scoring.

Goshen's men finished 14th of 41 teams in the Blue Race: owing to the size of the field, the competing teams were sorted into Gold, Blue and Silver categories. Goshen's men were joined by Crossroads League foes Taylor and Marian in the Blue Race, while Huntington competed in the Silver grouping. Grand Valley State University, an NCAA Division II institution, claimed the men's Blue title.

In the women's Silver Race, Goshen finished 21st, one spot below the midway point of the 39-team field. Hope College, an NCAA Division III school, claimed top honors, with the Maple Leafs defeating all six other NAIA programs in the race.

With predominantly NCAA programs comprising the field, the women's events were held over that organization's standard six-kilometer (3.73-mile) distance rather than the NAIA's usual five-kilometer (3.11-mile) course. Megan Graves and Kayla Gray, the two Maple Leaf women with previous collegiate experience at the longer distance, each set new personal 6K records.

Freshman Chelsea Foster paced the Goshen women by finishing 87th in 23:50.51. Saturday marked the first time that Foster has been GC's top finisher after coming in second to Nora Rangel at the first two meets. Rangel was the second Leaf across the line, less than 18 seconds later to finish in 24:08.29 and one spot outside the top 100.

On an average-pace basis, Foster was among four Maple Leafs who turned in their fastest race of the season, a group that Jill Steinmetz was 1.16 seconds away from making a quintet. Graves was third on the team win 25:08.20, followed by Anneliese Wiebe 45.72 seconds behind.

Siana Emery rounded out the scoring runners for Goshen with a 218th-place finish in 26:09.14.

Saturday marked the third straight meet in which the Maple Leaf women have been paced by a freshman and the third time this year in which four of the top five GC finishers were first-year runners.

Goshen has just five days to recuperate before its next meet, the Bethel College Invitational at St. Patrick's County Park in Mishawaka next Friday. The Maple Leaf women will compete in the Gray Race at 3:45 p.m., followed by the men in the Blue Race at 6:00.

Men: 14. Goshen 460 points
4. Ryan Smith 24:55.30 (school record, replacing own 25:00.8)
68. Steven Cranston 26:34.20
97. Luke Graber 26:54.26
139. Juan Perez 27:21.83
185. Luke Kaufman 27:54.84
222. Brenner Burkholder 28:19.52
242. Alex Steiner 28:38.67
Daniel Klink 29:22.10

Women: 21. Goshen 652
87. Chelsea Foster 23:50.51
101. Nora Rangel 24:08.29
169. Megan Graves 25:08.20
210. Annelise Wiebe 25:53.92
218. Siana Emery 26:09.14
226. Jill Steinmetz 26:24.20
257. Jenae Stutzman 27:35.22
Kayla Gray 27:44.44