(Grand Rapids, Mich.) For the second straight meet, Cornerstone's Louis Falland has taken on some of the best in the NAIA and disposed of nearly all the competition. With six of the top fourteen ranked teams in the NAIA on hand, Falland's 24:57 earned him fourth in the eight kilometer race at Riverside Park.
A passing morning shower left the grass wet, but the footing was good on the figure eight loops around the park. Louis ran patiently in the lead pack through three miles before last year's winner, Mizael Carrea of Robert Morris College broke away taking Dylan Reyes and Mike Blaszczyk of St. Francis of Illinois with him. Timing mats at every mile mark recorded splits for each athlete during the race and the results showed that Louis' final mile in 4:54 was the fastest of anyone in the race. His new best time of 24:57 moved him from sixth to fourth on the CU all-time list.
"This is just his second race of the season. He's never raced at the front of a cross country race before this season so he's still a bit tentative," Van Holten said. "He also ran the second half of the race with one shoe untied, which is a constant distraction."
Behind Falland, the rest of the team ran well. "This is the best we've run all year," said Coach Nate Van Holten. Ben Foreman ran a season best 26:59 to finish 105th. Freshmen, Hunter Burnham (27:33 / 147th) and Jacob Benson (27:50 / 171st) new personal bests as did junior, Michael Darling (28:50 / 232nd).
St. Francis, the defending NAIA national champions, won the meet, edging Olivet Nazarene 66-69. Cornerstone finished 17th in the 37 team field.
November 9, the Golden Eagles return to Riverside Park for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championship.