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(Grand Rapids, Mich.) The question going into the 2013 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship wasn't if Louis Falland would win. The question was how big would the gap be?
Undefeated against conference competition this season, the senior from Australia challenged himself by going after the course record of 24:28 set by CU's Zach Ripley in 2010.
Conditions did not favor a record. With winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour on a mile long stretch of the 8 kilometer course, in both the second and fourth miles, forced Falland to battle the weather as much as the clock. Running the opening mile in 4:38 produced a 50 meter lead which grew to over 100 meters by the third mile.
The lead extended to 45 seconds by the time Falland reached the finish in a new personal best time of 24:54. The win came after placing nineteenth a year ago and sixth in 2011 and earned Louis WHAC Runner of the Year honors. Falland also advances to the NAIA Cross Country National Championship on November 23 in Lawrence Kansas.
Other CU finishers included Ben Foreman (29th / 27:29), Isaac Burnham (42nd / 28:20), Jacob Benson (47th / 28:35), Tyler Grey (49th / 28:38), Ethan Trobley (61st / 29:30) and Michael Darling (62nd / 29:37).
Aquinas swept third through eighth place to win the team title with 25 points. Cornerstone finished fourth with 127 behind Indiana Tech (55) and Siena Heights (84) out of the ten team field.