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(Lawrence, Kan.) On a bitterly cold day at historic Rim Rock Farm, Louis Falland earned All-America honors finishing fourteenth at the NAIA Cross Country National Championship.
A strong north wind in the first mile put the wind chill at nineteen degrees, but did little so slow the leaders as they passed the mile post in 4:36. Falland stayed with the front group through two miles and then the field began to stretch out on the hilly section of the course.
Louis held position up the final hill leading to Chester Cemetery then charged through the last 400 meters in 66 seconds to reach the finish in 24:54 tying his personal best set two weeks ago when he won the WHAC meet. His time was twelve seconds better than the 25:06 he ran at Rim Rock Farm at the NAIA preview meet in October.
"Louis is in a completely different category as a cross country runner this season," said CU Men's Cross Country Coach, Nate Van Holten. "Last year nationals he placed 161st. He's not only trained hard, but his ability to race with confidence has also grown tremendously."
Oklahoma City won the team title with 77 points while the WHAC was well represented by Aquinas in fifth with 148 and Indiana Tech in 18th, scoring 511. Eric Avila of Southern Oregon was the individual champion running 24:02 for the 8 kilometer race.
(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.
(Grand Rapids, Mich.) With eight of the top 25 team in the NAIA looking to solidify their rankings in the last big meet of the season, the Great Lakes Invitational, hosted by Aquinas College provided the perfect opportunity. Five teams beat teams ranked ahead of them, including twenty-first ranked Cornerstone topping nineteenth ranked Aquinas.
The biggest upset saw tenth ranked Taylor University winning the meet over fifth ranked St. Francis of Illinois and sixth ranked Olivet Nazarene. The Trojans' 80 points were six better than ONU with St. Francis a distant third in the 33-team meet.
Equally impressive, was twenty-third ranked Indiana Tech's fourth place finish beating eleventh ranked Texas Wesleyan and sixteenth ranked Shawnee State.
At the end of the four-through-seven group, came Cornerstone. Julie Oosterhouse's seventh place finish in 18:18 paced the Golden Eagles. Jill Louisignau followed with a season best 18:42 in 23rd while Audrey Tremaine took 43rd in 19:03. Trinity Hulst added PR 19:13 in 57th and Cathy Coryell completed the scoring taking 72nd in 19:23.
"Our top five ran well and it was good to get ahead of Aquinas," said coach Rod Wortley. "It's still looks to be a three-way battle for the conference championship, though."
There were other notable accomplishments, including finishing nine Golden Eagles under 20 minutes for the first time in the same race. After the top five, were Kaylee Carew (19:37), Sydney Treamaine (19:44), Leah Shepherd (19:48) and Brooke Owens (19:57). Four others ran personal bests, including Kayla Ovokaitys (20:15), Erin Laplander (20:35), Brianna Griffiths (21:09) and Bailey Brogan (21:33).
November 9, the team returns to Riverside Park to defend their 2012 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference title.
(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.
Following Louis Falland's personal record performance during the Golden Eagles' men's cross country event at the NAIA National Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kansas, the junior was tabbed Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference runner of the week. The announcement was made by the conference yesterday afternoon.
The Nuriootpa, Australia, native earned the award after a third place finish out of 272 runners. The eight kilometer race proved to be a personal record on Saturday, Oct. 12. Falland's time of 25:06 moved him into sixth on Cornerstone's all-time list.
Follow the Golden Eagles next when the men's cross-country team participates in the NAIA Great Lakes Invitational on Oct. 26 in Grand Rapids. The Invitational will begin at 11 a.m.
CLICK HERE to view the full WHAC release.