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The Cornerstone University Men's Cross Country team goes into the 2012 season with great anticipation. A core group with plenty of NAIA Nationals experience combines with strong underclassmen. The result should be another year of tight pack racing.
Last year's 1-5 split was typically around 30 seconds and all five men return after outstanding T&F seasons. Seniors, Jared Courtright and Travis Mabe share 8k PRs of 25:44. Courtright earned All-America honors from NAIA Indoor Nationals in the 3,000 meters and Mabe lowered his 5k track best to 15:09. Fellow senior, Cody Risch ran 26:03 last season before finishing national runner-up in the race walk at both NAIA Indoor and Outdoor National meets. Sophomore, Louis Falland fits right in with his 2011 best of 25:45 and earned All-America honors in the 3,000 meter steeplechase last May. Sophomore Thomas Bamach returns with the fastest 8k PR of 25:41.
Redshirt freshman, Tyler Steigenga brings a 15:53 5k PR from the track to add depth.
Looking at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, seniors took seven of the top nine spots last season, putting CU's pack out in front. There will likely be the usual battle between Cornerstone, Aquinas and Siena Heights for the WHAC team title with all three teams looking to advance to the NAIA Championships in Vancouver, Washington on November 17.