Written by Katie Morford Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:16
The Tabor cross country program is on pace to have a record-breaking season as the Bluejays swept the top finishes in both the men’s and women’s races Saturday at the Tabor Invitational in Newton, Kan.
Both the men’s and the women’s teams earned second-place finishes at the meet, tying for the best combined team showing during coach Dan Swaney’s tenure.
True sophomore Joel Allen and junior Brielle Lund each earned KCAC Runner of the Week honors for their first-place finishes.
“We had a great meet,” said Swaney. “For the first time in school history we had the individual winners of both races at our home meet.”
Tabor standout Allen fended off the second-place runner in the final moments of the men’s race to gain the sweep and first-place finish in 26 minutes and 13 seconds, his fourth-fastest time of the year and a record-setting number for the course.
“It was a great finish,” said Swaney, adding that the second-place runner chased Allen down on the kick at the end, but Allen edged him out by 1/4 second at the line.
“It was very exciting,” Swaney said.
“I wasn’t sure Joel was going to be able to hang on for the win, but he pulled it out.”
The Tabor men’s No. 2 runner, Jacob Heil, took fourth with a 19-second personal best time of 26:37.
“He ran a very good race and moved up throughout the race,” Swaney said. “He was battling for third place here and there and just lost touch (with the third-place runner) toward the end.”
Tabor’s Garrett Daugherty also finished in the medals, coming in seventh in 27:25.
Also competing for the Bluejay men was Nathan Vogel (19th, 28:30), Paul Williams (22nd, 28:35) Bret Mueller (35th, 29:43) and Jonathan Gutierrez (66th, 34:45).
Lund defended her pre-season ranking as the top women’s distance runner in the KCAC, running away with the first-place finish in the women’s race with a time of 18:29, her first 5K under 19 minutes.
Also competing for Tabor was Ashley Kemling (12th, 20:16), Makenzie King (20th, 20:51), Hannah Holmes (24th, 21:04) and Kirsten Harris (51st, 23:37).
“On the whole, it was a very good day, better than I expected,” Swaney said.
Coming —The Bluejays are scheduled to compete at the Emporia State Invitational at Jones Park in Emporia, Kan., Friday, starting at 5 p.m.