Pavicic, Juuti lead LSSU
ALLENDALE - The Lake Superior State men's cross country team placed sixth, while the women's team was eighth at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships held Saturday at Grand Valley State.
Senior Anthony Pavicic placed 24th in 26:38.6 to lead the LSSU men's team. Freshman Bed Tarbutton was 32nd in 26:54.6, followed by senior Colin Vohlken in 37th (27:05.1), freshman Tom Thornton in 41st (27:17.2), freshman Chris Olds in 43rd (27:25.1), freshman Emory Nelkie in 44th (27:29.4) and junior Richard Stein in 48th (27:39.5).
"The men's team scored 28 points less than last year, so that is a good improvement for the team," LSSU coach Drew Ludtke said. "We also had four freshmen in the top six (for LSSU) and many sophomores and red-shirted freshmen right behind them. This group will do some great things for LSSU in the next four years."
Freshman Meghan Juuti was 38th in 23:52.7 to lead the LSSU women. Junior Jen Buerger was 43rd in 24:06.3, followed by freshman Mandi DeBlock in 44th (24:07.8), senior Amy Busfield in 57th (24:34.8), freshman Kristen Carson in 59th (24:37.4), junior Brooke Brenner in 61st (24:40.6) and sophomore Christina Etapa in 70th (25:08.2).
"The women's team placed two places better than last year, three places better than two years ago and four places better than three years ago," Ludtke said. "This team is on the rise and a great thing to be a part of."
Overall winners were Ashland's Nate Iler in 25:07.2 and Northern Michigan's Stephanie Howe in 22:19.9.
"No team had an experience quite like ours this weekend," Ludtke continued. "Both teams improved nicely from last year. The guys team knows hands-on what it needs to do to become a national-caliber team. That is, for now, out of reach, but soon to change. The women's team is just a year or two behind the guys, so they are seeing where they can be in the future.
"The athletes are striving to become better people and get to the starting line with a sense that they are worthy people no matter how the race turns out for them. The goal of our program is to encourage a positive, healthy team environment and work together as a team. They have done this. They are on the road to success in their lives and in LSSU athletics."