Cross Country: Rzentkowski breaks program record; Big day for CMU women

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – Adam Rzentkowski broke the men’s 8k program record and Emily Paupore clocked the third-best 6k time in women’s program history on Friday to highlight performances by the Central Michigan cross country team at the Lehigh Paul Short Run.

Rzentkowski, a junior from Rosholt, Wis., finished in 23:47.4, breaking the men’s CMU record (24:01) set by Tecumseh Adams at the 2011 Mid-American Conference Championships.

“I think secretly we were all hoping this would be the day,” the CMU director of athletics and cross country said. Jenny Swieton said. “He decided to do it from the start and even though we never really talked about it directly, I think we knew he was good enough to do it and under the right circumstances he was good enough to do it. and it was coming.

“It’s so awesome to see the excitement when someone breaks a school record. He was so happy and excited and proud and the whole team was so excited for him. It’s such a cool experience to see.”

Paupore, a sophomore from Negaunee, finished in 20:48.4, the third fastest 6k time in WUC women’s cross country history. Paupore led a sensational day in which four WUC women posted some of the fastest 17 times in program history.

“She’s super tough and once she gets into it, she’s going to get through it no matter what,” Swieton said, adding that the strong, deep 46-team field was a major factor overall. of the Chippewas. Hit. “Almost every one of our kids (has set a personal best) and I think in these races you go in and you let the race take you to a fast time. It’s going to take you to a fast time or you go. That’s why we came here, to give them the experience of being in this kind of racing which is so competitive and at such a high level.

“It just shows them what they are capable of and that’s exactly what happened.”

Rzentkowski ranked 66e lead the Chippewas to a 39e-arrival point and Paupore was 94 years oldeleading women to 31st square.

The Chippewa men finished with 1,164 points, while the Ohio Mid-American Conference brothers (38e) and Bowling Green (43rd) had 1085 and 1267, respectively.

CMU Blake Chipman placed 320e, followed by Gabe Goosen (324e), jason fredrick (325e)and Owen Howard (348e).

“They fought really hard, they gave it their all,” Swieton said.

The Chippewa women finished with 877 points, beating Bowling Green by 11 points. Ohio placed 20e with 626.

“I think we have the ability to run with these teams, we just have to keep pushing this pack forward to do what we need to. do when the conference championship is here,” Swieton said. “It’s good because we have a month to work on these things (before the MAC Championships). We have the opportunity to take those steps forward.”

CMU’s Anya Turner ranked 139e, followed by Lauren Beckmann (183rd), Jelena Prescott (205e), and Maija Retell (337e).

Turner’s 21:10.7 ranks seventh best in program history, while Beckmann’s 21:26.8 is 14eand Prescott’s 21:32.7 is 17e.

“IIt was a really good experience for them to be in such a high level race,” Swieton said. “It kind of ripped that bandage off because at the start a race like this can be intimidating. They did a really good job managing each other and staying engaged throughout the race.

“I couldn’t be happier with the current situation and we have a few pieces that we can add later in the season which I think will make us even stronger. Since all these women have come in, they have wanted to build something big and create a team and environment where everyone supports each other to become a high performing team.

“They know it doesn’t happen overnight if you do it the right way and they’ve been doing it the right way since they got here and it shows. We’ve gotten better every year, and that is just the beginning.”

The Chippewas who did not compete in Lehigh are scheduled to race Saturday at the Saginaw Valley State Red October Invitational.

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