Junior Joey Humes surged late to take first place in the Greater Louisville Classic and helped propel the men’s cross country team to a fourth-place finish last Saturday. Humes ran the 8 kilometers in 24 minutes and 17 seconds, breaking the previous G-MAC record.
Humes and Dominic Patacsil from Wabash College broke away from the lead pack early in the race, and by the two-mile mark Humes managed to generate a solid lead over his challenger.
“Dominic fell back, and I thought I had broken him. He was like six or seven steps behind me and I thought I clinched it,” Humes said. “But every time I looked back he was still there and he never got any farther back.”
At the seven-kilometer mark, Patacsil mounted a charge and passed Humes.
“Nobody saw it because it was on the back parts of the track, but Dominic passed me and then gapped me by a couple of steps,” Humes said. “I thought, ‘That’s it, I’m done’ because he passed me and was really going for it.”
Humes persevered and managed to pass Patacsil on the home-stretch to win the race by three seconds. This triumph comes on the heels of a 13th-place finish at the Spartan invitational. Humes said his finish at the Spartan Invitational made him nervous going into Saturday’s meet.
Humes may not have been confident going into the Greater Louisville Classic, but his knew that he was capable of contending for the win.
“We know Joey is going to do something crazier every time. It never surprises us,” teammate senior Eli Poth said.
Other Chargers also had breakout performances at the Greater Louisville Classic. Poth and sophomore Mark Miller finished 15th and 29th respectively, setting personal records at the 8 kilometer distance. Poth broke his previous personal best by a full minute, something he said he had been wanting to do for a long time.
“It was good to actualize potential but it wasn’t surprising. It was what I should be capable of,” Poth said. “It was nice to actually do it and instead of telling people “Oh, I’m better than that.”
Sophomore Jack Shelley, sophomore Morgan Morrison, and junior Eric Poth all finished within five seconds of each other and placed 102nd, 111th, and 113th respectively. Shelley and Poth also set personal records. As the team moves closer to the G-MAC conference meet, Eli Poth said he expects those three runners to start finishing closer to the top three runners.
“We want our 4 and 5 to move up, which they should. Some teams have a problem with their 4 and 5 because they don’t know where its coming from,” Poth said. “But with Eric, Morgan, and Jack we know it’s in capable hands.”
Eric Poth said he recognizes the gap in the team’s finishes and says that he, Morrison, and Shelley are going to strive to close it.
“A big motivation factor for our 4 – 6 this year is we know our top 3 are going to have a good day and we need to pull our weight,” Poth said.
The team’s fourth place finish should be good enough to move the Chargers several spots higher in the conference standings. Eric Poth said good races like the Greater Louisville Classic help the team establish an identity for itself as the conference meet creeps closer.
“We showed we are good enough to compete for a conference championship and that’s exciting,” Poth said.