GRINNELL, Iowa--God brought out the sunshine for the Les Duke Invitational in Grinnell on Saturday. Since the course was modified to stay on high ground, avoiding the low, wet areas, it ended up being a good running surface for most of the route. To help keep the course from getting muddy, the runners weren't allowed on the course until race time.
Everyone ran exceptionally well, with three additional team members meeting the qualifying mark to earn the privilege of competing in the NCCAA National Cross Country Meet in November! Katlyn Holaday qualified for Nationals last week, and improved her 5K time this week by over a minute, pacing all Eagles runners with a time of 21:36. Chelsea Ratliff was next for the Lady Eagles, with a 5K time of 23:05, improving nearly two full minutes from last week, which was good enough to qualify her for Nationals. Taylor England also beat the qualifying mark of 24:30 with her 5K time of 23:45, which was more than a minute faster than last week. And, while Emily Jo Taylor didn't reach the qualifying mark this week, she improved her 5K time to 25:52, almost 2 minutes faster than last week.
Ryan Hughes ran a great race for the men, completing his first 8K race with a time of 31:39, which was significantly under the national qualifying time of 34 minutes for the men's race.
"Everyone pushed themselves to do their best, giving God the glory, praising Him for the joy of running in the beautiful setting that He created," said Coach Ryan Long. "Please pray with us that our home course around the Faith campus will dry out for next Saturday. We would love to have lots of fan support, so please plan to come join us at 9:30 Saturday morning for the Women's 5K and stay for the Men's 8K race at 10:30!"