(North Manchester, Ind.) The Manchester College Cross Country Invitational course is flat and fast under normal conditions. This year's edition featured a constant 20 mph west wind with gusts up to 30 mph. Coach Rod Wortley told his women's team to expect a slower tactical race, but the Golden Eagles had other plans.
Within the first 400 meters, six CU women strung a line from the front to the main pack. By 800 meters Jill Louisignau had the lead and control of the 6 kilometer race. Just after two miles, freshman Julie Oosterhouse passed Karla Madrigal of Manchester, moving into second.
At five kilometers, the Golden Eagles were in the lead, but didn't let up. Louisignau cruised unchallenged to the win in 23:18, just two seconds off the school record. Oosterhouse finished runner up, chopping 48 seconds off the freshman record with her time of 23:28. Audry Yonge unleashed a tremendous finishing kick moving up three places in the final 400 meters to take fourth in 24:03. CallyAnne Wyma finished eighth in 24:19 and Julia Contreras gave CU all five scorers in the top nine with her 24:26 clocking.
Mindy Lewis (17th / 24:56) and Sydney Tremaine (24th / 25:29) also finished in the awards.
Wortley was pleased with the results, "Only senior, Janelle Brown has run 6k before and that extra 1,000 meters can be as much a mental struggle as it is physical. The team did a great job on focusing on racing well and winning and let the distance take care of itself."
Cornerstone won the meet with 24 points ahead of the Calvin College "B" team with 40 and the host, Manchester, third with 78 points in the eight team field.
The Golden Eagles race next October 22nd at the NAIA Great Lakes Invitational at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids.