PEORIA, Ill. – Clayton Duchatschek clocked a personal best 44 seconds to break the 8,000-meter program record and lead the Shocker men to a team runner-up finish Friday at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois.
Both Duchatschek and Ben Flowers broke the record with times of 23:34.8 and 23:51.4, respectively, as the Shockers beat seven regionally ranked teams at Newman Golf Course. The previous 8k record of 23:54.16 was set by Brady Johnson in 2015 at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“Clayton and Ben both came out and stuck their noses in there,” the head coach said. Kirk Hunter said. “Clayton kept fighting and every time someone moved, he kept moving with them.”
Duchatschek, Flowers and Adrian Diaz Lopez came out strong and kept pushing, finishing fourth, 15e and 28e. Bryce Merriman and Trey Rios battled throughout the race to finish 23rdrd and 30e.
“We tend to go out comfortably and crush everyone, and we decided to change that strategy a bit,” Hunter said. “What we did well this time around was stick our noses in and hang in there.”
All five scorers finished in the top 30 for 84 points, just two points behind Loyola in first place. The Shockers beat every team ranked ahead of them in the regional standings, including No. 4 Midwest Illinois, No. 5 Midwest Drake and No. 6 Miami (Ohio) Great Lakes. They also eliminated a Grand Valley State team ranked third in the nation for Division II.
“We beat everyone we came here for,” Hunter said. “Loyola surprised everyone except maybe themselves.”
Loyola entered this week having not been listed in the Midwest rankings since being ranked No. 11 in the preseason, but went 1-2-15-21-43 to edge out the Shockers with a minimum of 82 dots.
Between men and women, Wichita State has recorded 16 personal bests.
“The ground was hard, so this course is a lot faster than the Minnesota course,” Hunter said. “I pride myself on public relations, but in cross country it’s all about who you beat.”
Ababa Sullivan led the way for the Shocker women in the red 6K race with a 32n/a-place the finish with a personal best of 21:02.9.
“I was really thrilled that Abeba went after him and had a massive 4K PR,” Hunter said.
“Unless you take a chance, you’re not going to have this success, so I want her to keep doing it.
Miranda Dick also put in a solid performance, beating his previous 6k personal best by 42 seconds to finish 84e at 21:54.8, followed by Sarah Berty in 99e (21:59.5), Lubna Aldulaimi in 110e (22:07.1) and Jenna Muma in 137e (22:19.8).
The Shockers travel to Tulsa, Okla. Friday, October 28 for the American Athletic Conference Championships.
Director of Athletics/Cross Country Steve Rainbolt on today’s performances:
“I’m very happy for both the men’s and women’s cross country teams. The women ran a good race today at Bradley and showed they are continuing to get in shape and improving over the year. It was a good showing and I’m confident they’ll be ready for a good run in Tulsa at the AAC Championship two weeks from today.
“The Shocker men! Their run today was probably the best regular season encounter we’ve ever had in 23 years at Wichita State. I can’t say enough how proud and happy I am for this men’s team. These guys have had very high goals all summer and fall – heck, since last cross country season – and they’re putting everything together at the right time Coach Hunter, as always, does a masterful job of to bring these two teams to championship form. It’s very exciting as we prepare for the AAC Championship.”
8K recording: 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙙. pic.twitter.com/42UL7GIpzf
— Wichita State T&F/XC (@GoShockersTFXC) October 14, 2022