Pitt State has strong team showing
Volkert, Macy win
Michael Bauer | sports editor
Seniors Adam Volkert and Jessica Macy are MIAA cross-country champions.
Volkert and Macy each won the 2013 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association individual cross-country championship title on Saturday, Oct. 26, winning their races at the Countryside Golf Course in Pittsburg. With this victory, Volkert and Macy earned All-MIAA honors.
“It was really exciting to do well,” Macy said. “I had been doing well this season and was hoping it’d be an indication it’d carry into this week and I was right.”
Macy entered the day with the league’s best 6K time.
“Jessica came in very fit and had a target on her back,” said Russ Jewett, head coach. “Everyone knew she could win it.”
Macy says that having a target on her back did add some pressure before the race.
“I try to have confidence but not arrogance,” she said, “because there are runners who were not to be taken lightly in our race.”
Her winning time was 21 minutes, eight =seconds, which was 34 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Twishanna Williams of Lincoln University.
Early in the race, Macy says, she found herself boxed in with other runners before pulling away.
“The plan was to go out with whoever wanted to lead up until the first mound and push it from there,” Macy said. “I ended up getting boxed in pretty bad because of all the turns, but that’s something that I’m used to.”
As a team the Gorilla women were unable to catch the conference — and favorite Southwest Baptist Bearcats swept the competition with 35 points. Nebraska-Kearney was No. 2 with 72 points and the PSU women finished No. 3 overall with 88 points, beating rivals Missouri Southern by 40 points.
Southwest Baptist had four finishers in the top eight, with Ashley Wolkomir and Karissa Fisher placing third and fourth respectively and Elizabeth Luckel and Krenda McClure placing seventh and eighth.
“We knew SBU would be really good,” Jewett said. “They got up there early and hung on, they gapped some of our runners. Our freshmen raced pretty well. Casey Epps had a good race, too.”
Epps, senior, was the second Gorilla to cross the finish line with a time of 22 minutes, 16 seconds. She placed 11th. Junior Alex Moase placed 23rd with 22 minutes, 59 seconds while junior Cate Dunn placed 26th in 23 minutes, five seconds. Freshman Carlin Greene was right behind her with 23 minutes, nine seconds.
Volkert’s victorious racing time was 24 minutes, 35 seconds, just 10 seconds ahead of second- place finisher Laban Sialo of Central Missouri.
“Adam lost his shoe a few kilometers in the race, and it beat him up a little bit,” Jewett said. “I’m really proud of him for not letting this get to him.”
Volkert led the Gorilla men to a sixth-place overall finish.
Central Missouri took the conference title with 56 points, edging Missouri Southern by a single point for a dramatic victory. The Mules had three runners in the top eight.
Southwest Baptist finished third with 78 points. The Pitt State men just barely missed out on fifth place, losing to Northwest Missouri State by a single point.
PSU finished with 144 points, beating Fort Hays State by nine points.
“We were a little disappointed,” Jewett said. “It would have taken some magic to be in the top two.”
Freshman Ren Bean was the second Gorilla to cross the line, placing 34th in 26 minutes, 10 seconds. Sophomores Collin Hubert and Chris Wise were behind him at 35th and 36th respectively. Hubert and Bean both finished in 26 minutes, 10 seconds. Wise was two seconds behind them. Sophomore Connor Stark placed 38th in 26 minutes, 17 seconds while sophomore Austin Bogina and freshman Andrew Rodgers were both clocked in at 26 minutes, 20 seconds. They finished in 42nd and 43rd place.
“I think our guys tried too hard,” Jewett said. “We had some guys up there too early.”
The Gorillas’ next meet will be Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Central Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D.