The Goshen College cross country teams traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, where they competed in the “Live in Lou Cross Country Classic.” The men placed seventh of 46 teams in the 8K blue race. GC’s men’s team is currently ranked No. 13 nationally, and they beat multiple ranked teams: No. 11 Grace, No. 13 Taylor, No. 14 St. Francis, No. 15 Aquinas, No. 17 Lewis-Clark St. and No. 22 Olivet Nazarene.The women placed 30th of 41 in the 5K blue race and are currently ranked No. 24. The women beat all teams receiving votes in the NAIA coaches poll and the No. 25 ranked team, Aquinas College.
Mathew Keitany, a junior, placed ninth out of 431 runners with a time of 24:56.3. He performed over 16 seconds faster than his previous 8K at the Ray Bullock Invitational and one minute and 20 seconds faster than his previous Louisville race in 2022, where he competed for his former college, Vincennes University.
Keitany was named the Crossroads League Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week. This is the second time this year he has received the award.
Anthony Roberts, a sophomore, finished second for Goshen with PR of 25:32.0.
Mercy Chebet, a junior, performed strongly while fighting through an injury and led the way for the women’s team as she placed 55th out of 383 runners in her 5K with a time of 19:05.4. Behind her were Summer Cooper and Annika Alderfer Fisher, finishing in 139th and 142nd, respectively. Cooper ran a 19:44.4, with Alderfer Fisher on her heels at 19:46.3.
Roberts said, “We go into each meet having the mindset that we are going to put our best effort out there, not for ourselves, but for our team.”
Naomi Ross Richer, a senior, competed in her first meet this season at the Lou Classic. Ross Richer explained the team’s process of competing: “Trust your training, trust your body and trust your team.” Leading up to race day, the team emphasizes hydration, eating well and lots of stretching in preparation for the run.
Roberts describes his team with the word “passion.” The word is to honor teammate Ezra Kipruto, who passed away last fall. “We take great pride and honor in being passionate about our team,” Roberts said. “We take this [passion] with us into every race.”
Roberts stated the goals for the team are to “go to nationals for the fifth straight year in a row … and to finish top 15.” The Leafs’ next race is the Bethel Invitational on Oct. 6 at St. Patrick’s County Park in South Bend.