On Friday, Sept. 12, the men’s cross country team took part in its second meet of the season at the Illinois State Invite in Normal, Illinois. During the 8K race, the Rambler men scored 96 points and placed fifth out of seven overall.
“The race was a good warm up for what we can expect at the conference championship,” redshirt senior Andy Fenske said.
During the race, Loyola faced off against two foes in the Missouri Valley Conference: Indiana State and Illinois State. According to Fenske, the race was a good determination of seeing where the Ramblers stand competitively against their rivals. He also mentioned how a good portion of the Loyola runners were able to maintain a pack formation in the race, thus having many of the team members finish around the same time to have a better scoring average.
Fenske made his first appearance this season at the Illinois State Invite, finishing with a final time of 25:25 and placing 27th in the race. Sophomore Chandler Diffee trailed directly behind Fenske at the finish line, also earning an ending time of 25:25 to take 28th place.
Sam Penzenstadler, a senior who placed first the week before during the Badger Season Opener, led the Ramblers a second time in the race and placed second overall. With a final time of 24:01, he achieved a personal record in the race.
The men’s cross country team will have its next meet in Warrenville, Illinois, at the College of DuPage Invitational, allowing them to take this upcoming Friday off.
“[The last race] gives us a realistic sense of how hard we need to compete,” Fenske said. “I feel confident that we will be ready to battle for a title come November.”