Manchester University welcomes HCAC Championships

The 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships pay a visit to Manchester University Saturday, Oct. 28.

Meet details: Start time for the 31st men’s 8K championship race is 11 a.m. with the golden anniversary women’s 6K to follow at 12 p.m. … An awards ceremony is scheduled for Stauffer-Wolfe Arena in the Physical Education and Recreation Center at approximately 1 p.m.  … The course is incorporated around MU’s campus in North Manchester, Ind. … Live audio and video are accessible at Results, race recaps, photos and more will be available at, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics during the day Saturday.

HCAC Championships glance: MU’s women and Rose-Hulman’s men were tabbed preseason favorites in the August coaches’ poll. Rose-Hulman will look to claim its third men’s conference championship in four years at the event, while the Manchester University women will run for a third straight title.  The Spartans and Hanover will look to challenge the Engineers on the men’s side, while Rose-Hulman seeks a battle with Manchester on the women’s side, according to the league’s pre-championships preview … Lambert gave his thoughts on what a winning formula could look like across the board. “The key to success lies with the teams executing their race plans,” he said. “It sounds pretty simple, but that’s what it comes down to. Everyone will be dealing with colder weather than we’ve had this season, and each coach knows how competitive the league has been and will be.”

Spartan Shorts: Lambert’s men’s and women’s programs took home all but one of the individual and team awards a year ago, claiming their sixth team title in the last eight years on both sides due to picking up individual championships in each section and claiming Freshman of the Year accolades in the women’s race … “Hey, going in, we’re not focused on the defense side of things (in regards to the championships),” he noted. “We’ve got two totally different teams this season. We continue to strive for what we’ve been wanting to do all season … it’s about being better than the day before and the best we can be on competition days. I know myself, (Director of Cross Country and Track and Field) Brian (Cashdollar) and the team are looking forward to the championships and feeling like it will be a great day to be great all the way around.” … Top men’s returners from the 2016 meet are seniors Blake Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Brandon Blackmer (Gaston, Ind.) each of whom placed in the top 40 at Hanover last fall with Harris was all-HCAC after finishing ninth. On the women’s side, sophomore Hannah Wappes (Columbia City, Ind.) was named Freshman of the Year after placing third, while classmate Emily Ewen (Wolcott, Ind.) was right behind her in fourth. Senior Shelby Harrell (Plymouth, Ind.) also found herself in the top 30, ending 28th, and junior Samina Qureshi (Columbia City, Ind.) turned in a first 50 effort, ending 46th.

NCAA Regionals: Manchester University breaks from competition next weekend to prepare for the 2017 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Championships. Ohio Wesleyan University is the meet host Saturday, Nov. 11.

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