Ashland University's men's and women's cross country teams will get in one more pre-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships meet on Friday (Oct. 11) at 4:30 p.m. at Wilmington's JennaStrong Fall Classic.
The Eagle women will run the 5K race, with the Ashland men following in the 8K race.
"There's a couple," said Ashland head coach Jacob Sussman of the goals for the Wilmington meet. "Cedarville is going to be there, so it's going to the second week in a row for us competing against a top-10 team in the region. Basically, on the men's and women's side, we're going to try to get our race tactic down, and try to execute it, for the GLIAC meet."
This will be the Ashland men's third consecutive 8K race. Their top seven has been fairly consistent over the course of the season:
MICHIGAN STATE: Kapes, Shively, Johnson, Reimund, junior Tyler Sievert, Ingram and Bautista-Catalan.
ALL-OHIO: Kapes, Shively, Sievert, Johnson, Ingram, Reimund and Hall.
"We have one more guy that's going to be in the top seven, (sophomore) Cody Booth," said Sussman. "That's something that we really didn't get to show at All-Ohio. Kyle and Sievert are going to get closer and closer to Kapes, which is going to be even better for us."
For the AU women, they will run a 5K for the first time since the season-opening Northwood Invitational on Sept. 7. Their last two races each were 6Ks, and the GLIAC meet will be a 6K.
"I had it planned out that way," Sussman said. "Yes, it's a different race. Mentally, they need a break from running 6Ks. It gives them a comparison to how fit they are now, as opposed to either high school or last year.
"It's still close enough to a 6K that we can still execute our plan."
The top seven for the Eagle women in the first three meets of the year have seen some swings:
MICHIGAN STATE: Stefanek, Hinkle, Morgan, Ohman, Zigan, junior Makayla Wagner and Ponzi.
ALL-OHIO: Moser, Stefanek, Morgan, Ohman, Zigan, Hinkle and Wagner.
"It's a blessing and a curse," Sussman said. "You'd ideally love to have a 3-4-5 set. With them kind of switching in and out of places, they're able to push each other, not just at competitions, but in practices, because they all have different running styles."
The 2019 GLIAC Championships will be Oct. 26 at Purdue Northwest.