BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Central Michigan cross country team took a big step forward on Friday.
Emily Paupore won the women’s race leading the Chippewas to a first place result and Adam Rzentkowski took first in the men’s race, leading the Chippewas to a second-place finish at the Bowling Green Mel Brodt Collegiate Open.
The women’s race was a 6K, while the men ran an 8K.
The Chippewa women finished with 27 points, while Mid-American Conference opponents Eastern Michigan (second) and Bowling Green (fourth) had 52 and 75 points, respectively. Oakland won the men’s race with 34 points while CMU finished with 57.
“It’s good to compete against MAC schools and do well against them,” CMU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Jenny Swieton said. “We can just see where we are at.”
Paupore, a sophomore, led the CMU women in their convincing victory, winning in 21:38.4. It was her first collegiate victory.
CMU’s Anya Turner finished fourth, followed by Lauren Beckmann (seventh), Jelena Prescott (ninth), and Natalie Newcombe (13th).
“Our team did a really good job of working together,” Swieton said. “We had some people who didn’t really have the races that they wanted at the Jeff Drenth Invite (two weeks ago), who took a step forward today. I think across the board it was a really good day for everybody.”
Rzentkowski, a senior, came in at 25:07.7, winning the race by nearly 25 seconds.
The Chippewa breshmen shone in their first collegiate 8K with Blake Chipman taking 10th placefollowed by Jason Fredricks (16th) duck Joey Taverna (18th).
“They adjusted really well,” Swieton said. “Most of the freshmen came through the 5K mark at a similar time that they ran at the 5K (Drenth) two weeks ago, and then kept going. That was very impressive.”
Senior Gabe Goosen placed 12th for the Chippewas.
“Today our goal was managing our minds,” Swieton said. “So when things got tough in the race, we worked on managing that and turning it into a positive. I think everyone did a great job of doing that today.
“There’s always something we can improve on. We just have two focus on getting a little better every day and we did that today. I think there are still more pieces to the puzzle, and we will continue to add confidence as we do that.”
The Chippewas will next run in the Lehigh Paul Short run in Bethlehem, Pa. on Friday, Sept. 30.