Cross-Country team conquers championship course

By Gabriella Scibetta

Cross-country officially began its season with men’s and women’s victories.

On Saturday morning, the women’s team began the meet with a 5K on their home course, the same course the Missouri Valley Conference Championships will be on November 1.

Junior Kelley Gallagher placed first for the Salukis with the time of 17:39.7 in the women’s division. Junior Oscar Medina won his first collegiate race with a time of 24:25.7.


Senior Michael Castel placed second in the men’s division with a time of 24:52.9.

Both full men’s and women’s rosters had the opportunity to race in the meet against five other schools.

The men’s 8K began 45 minutes after the women’s race concluded.

“I was really happy with how today went, I went into it not really knowing what to expect, since this was our first race,” Gallagher said. “I was just going to go out and run based on how I felt, and I felt good from the beginning.”

Gallagher said this is one of the most challenging courses the team would have to compete on.

“We usually start at Eastern Illinois and that’s a much easier course because it’s a lot flatter,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said the training is going well, but it’s a little bit different from former head coach’s training styles.


“We have been doing longer endurance type things instead of speed work,” Gallagher said. “I wasn’t used to that, so that’s why I was a little nervous going into the race, but it worked well.”

Gallagher said she is excited about what the season brings, and she thinks the team is able to defend the MVC championship this year.

Castel said the course was tougher than expected.

“It was a lot harder than I thought, even though it was my home course, I wasn’t ready for that,” Castel said.

Castel said it’s good to compete on other courses to challenge the team a little bit to come back and be prepared championship.

Coach David Beauchem said it was a good start for the season, but there are some things the team has to work on.

“We have a lot of work to do through the whole team to be where we want to be in the conference and at the regional meet,” Beauchem said, “we had pretty big gaps between 3, 4 and 5.”

Beauchem said the meet was a good showing for the middle of September.

“The other three meets we have, Notre Dame, Indiana State, and regionals, are a little more straight away and not so hilly,” Beauchem said. “While they are a little easier, they will be a little faster, so it will all get put together.”

Beauchem said the team has been working on conditioning in practice; so the win was expected.

“It’s a really strong group of seniors on both sides, and it’s an honor to be out here coaching them,” Beauchem said.

The next cross-country meet will be at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on October 3 at 1:45 p.m.

Gabriella Scibetta can be reached at [email protected] or @gscibetta_DE on twitter