On a short week and being early in the season, the goal for this meet was to continue to train hard and race smart. With a race strategy that involved each member of the team to come through together at specific mile marks, fast times were not a priority.
On the women’s side, the Lady Warriors would set out to have ten women come through the 1st mile at 6:40 pace. That would prove more challenging than expected when the group would actually come through at 6:49 for the 1st mile. The second mile would see the women’s team separate into two main groups with the first being led by Freshman Kaitlynn Little and Junior Madison Caffrey, joined by Sophomores Lacey Buckwalter and Nicole Stockton. Renee Lanham would see herself coming back to her top form as she led the second group of Lora Bebermeyer and Katie De La Torre.
Little would lead the way for the Warriors for the better part of the race, when at 600m to go Caffrey would take over and lead the rest of the charge. The Lady Warriors would see their top four women finish within nineteen seconds of one another, and only a total of 1:05 between their 1-7.
Caffrey 20:51, Little 20:54, Stockton 21:07, Buckwalter 21:10, Lanham 21:39, Bebermeyer 21:47, De La Torre 21:56. Freshman Anna Kuns would go on to set a new personal best with a time of 22:41.
With such a strong pack and the numbers in their favor, despite slower times and deeper placing for the normal front runners, Sterling would place 2nd as a team. “We knew we were deep and we have been working very hard to keep the ladies close in workouts. Today was incredible to watch, to see our entire team go from the very back of the entire race to flying past people in groups. You could see it on other teams’ faces they didn’t know what was going on. I am glad the ladies were able to execute and enjoy success as a team.” Jack Dillard – Head Coach
On the men’s side, the task was to race together for the first two miles at 5:55-6:00 mile pace. Juniors Lucas Garrett and Isaac Barnhart would take the pace and come through two miles at 11:50 followed by Sophomore Aaron Pinkerton, and Freshmen Zach Williams and Scott Jordan at 12:00. The men would constantly be moving through competition as they raced down sandy shore lines and tight tree-lined trails.
Barnhart and Garrett would be side by side for the majority of the race before the last 160m would see Garrett pull away for a 16th place finish and a time of 29:09, just ahead of Barnhart’s 17th place finish and 29:12. Sophomore Aaron Pinkerton would have another solid performance in his second race of the year, coming in at 27th and a time of 29:48. Both Williams and Jordan would stay close as well as the two came in just over fourteen seconds apart. Williams would cross in 34th place at 30:09, and Jordan 37th with a 30:33.
The men would go on to place 3rd as a team out of the 14 schools represented and 9 full teams.
“This is a solid group of guys and a hard working driven bunch. They did exactly what we asked them to do and despite being completely exhausted from Wednesday’s workout they ran well. We want to take this team placing and roll with it, not getting content but using it to stay motivated and want more.” Coach Jack Dillard