This past weekend on Friday, Oct. 29 the men and women’s cross country team traveled to Illinois State located in Normal, Ill. to compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. The women opened the event with a 6k at 1 p.m. while the men started an hour later with an 8k race.
The men’s cross country team made history after finishing in first place at the championship for the first time since 1999. Junio Isaac Basten and Senior Adam Fogg finished first and second in the race. Basten finished with a time of 24:13.0 and Fogg finished milliseconds afterwards with 24:13.6. First-year Aziz Jdai took the third spot in his first time competing at the championship with a time of 24:27.5. Another first-year Enzo Marie finished in sixth place with a time of 24:28.5.
Heading into the championship the Valley released a pre-championship poll predicting that Drake’s women’s team would finish in fifth place and the men’s team would finish in second. There were a few votes for the men to finish in first place, but most predicted them to finish second overall.
The Bulldogs brought home two individual awards. Basten was named Cross Country Athlete of the Year after the race and Marie was named Freshman of the Year.
The women’s team finished in fifth place with sophomore Brooke Mullins being the highest finisher after an 11th place finish. First-year Tyla Lumley finished 20th overall in the race, right behind Mullins with a 30 second separation between the two of them.
Sophomore Anastasia Kirillov explains her thoughts on how the race went for her as well as her teammates.
“Each of our girls on the team pulled together a great individual effort on a hard course and bad weather conditions, and how strongly we supported each other was amazing,” Kirillov said. “I ran my race with low expectations due to an ongoing physical problem, but doing it for them and with them really helped me to be in a good mental space and finish well-positioned. On the other hand, seeing the men’s team win their championship after we raced was one of the most unique things I have experienced at Drake so far.”
The weather during both races was not ideal. The athletes had to compete in the rain and mud while the event was going on. The men’s team finished with a team score of 20 points while Bradley had 53 points in second place. The women’s team had a total score of 127 points to finish the competition.
Sophomore Mady Klebenow explains how proud she was of the team.
“I am so proud to be a part of a team that lifts one another up,” Klebenow said. “I know not each girl had their best day, the conditions were very tough, but seeing how happy everyone was for the men literally brought me to tears.”
The Bulldogs will compete again on November 12 at the University of Iowa in Iowa city during the NCAA Midwest region championship. The Bulldogs could potentially compete in the NCAA championships depending on how they finish in the regional tournament.