Cross Country competes in MEC: Kemp wins second straight year

Hannah Kemp won her second MEC cross country title.

Many associate the cold weather in October with football, but perhaps many should begin associating it with cross country, especially when talking about West Liberty University. Although the team results were not exactly what both the men’s and women’s team were hoping for, they certainly were not excluded from the conversation of being competitive, especially when discussing individual successes many black and gold runners had over the weekend of Oct. 23.

Kicking off the action with the men’s team, the Hilltoppers found themselves with a third place overall finish, scoring 82, trailing only the runner-up Concord, scoring 50, and the Champions in Charleston, who scored 20. The Mountain East Conference Men’s Cross Country Championships consisted of a total of 10 teams, and those who finished behind West Liberty consisted of: Davis and Elkins (4th: 100 points), West Virginia Wesleyan (5th: 161 points), Frostburg State (6th: 164 points), Glenville State (7th: 171 points), Fairmont State (8th: 249 points), Wheeling (9th: 261 points), and Alderson Broaddus, who finished 10th and did not score.

It was quite the solid day for the individual Hilltopper runners, with one runner placing in the top 10 overall, and three others finishing top 20 overall. Michael Harriman, a senior veteran runner, finished tenth overall with a time of 27:39.97. Philip White, yet another senior veteran leader, finished right behind Harriman at twelfth overall, with a time of 27:48.74. Jared Ullom, another senior, finished sixteenth overall with a final time of 28:09.34, while Brendan Sands, a junior leader, rounded out the top twenty finishes for West Liberty, finishing eighteenth posting a respectable time of 28:17.40. West Liberty had three more runners finish in the top fifty for place finishers: Danah Phillips (26th overall: 29:12.63), Tavian Richardson (38th overall: 30:34.04), and Zach Banks (41st overall: 30:52.07).

In what has shown to be an impressive week for the West Liberty men’s cross country team, the group has much to be proud about moving forward to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 6, and from there the NCAA Division II Nationals on Nov. 20.

The WLU women’s cross country team had much to cheer about as a team as well. Although they had certainly preferred to have finished higher, the team slotted a fifth place overall finish with a score of 121. Those who finished ahead of them was fourth place West Virginia Wesleyan with a score of 101, third place Concord with a score of 77, runner-up Davis and Elkins with a score of 70, and the champion Charleston with a score of 37. Those who finished behind West Liberty was sixth place West Virginia State with a score of 150, seventh place Wheeling with a score of 177, eighth place Frostburg State with a score of 197, ninth place Glenville State with a score of 231, and tenth place Alderson and Broaddus, who did not score.

West Liberty’s individual success was highlighted by veteran leader and phenom runner, Hannah Kemp. Kemp flexed her talents once again, winning her second straight MEC cross country individual championship, and second straight MEC Runner of the Year award. Kemp finished with a time of 23:50.13, and showed how she is an anchor for this team. Those following Kemp were Emily Louk, placing 25th, Savannah Moorehead, finishing 26th, Shania Keene, finishing 33rd, Blake Hull, finishing 36th, and Jamie Fogle, finishing 43rd.

The WLU women’s cross country team celebrates their success, as they also prepare for NCAA Division II Atlantic Regionals on Nov. 6, and the NCAA Division II Nationals on Nov. 20.