SHEPHERD, MICH. – Led by a sweep of the top-four, men’s cross country captured the win while the women placed third at the Jeff Drenth Memorial Friday to kick off the 2023 season.
It was the first win for the men’s squad since the 2021 Jeff Drenth Memorial, while each of the five scorers placed in the top-10 for the first time since then. The Spartans were led by junior Jack Pennewell, who crossed the 5K course finish line first with a time of 15:06.7, his first collegiate race win. Each of MSU’s entrants would finish within 45 seconds behind Pennewell.
Following closely behind was senior Tyler Pritchett in second with a personal best of 15:11.3, sophomore Noah Morrow in third in his collegiate debut at 15:12.2 and senior Nathan Larson in fourth with his first career top-10 finish at 15:13.9.
State’s scoring was rounded out by sophomore Timothy Cherry who crossed the finish line at 15:25.6, good for eighth in his first collegiate race. Also finishing in their debuts were sophomore Owen Gilbert in 13th (15:35.4) and Portland transfer Quinn Cullen, 19th (15:51.3) in his first race in Green and White.
The Spartans won handily with 18 points to second place Eastern Michigan’s 37 and third place Central Michigan’s 83.
On the women’s side, sophomores Cookie Baugh and Chloe Wall kicked off their collegiate careers in ninth and 11th (18:21.3 and 18:28.2), while juniors Abigail Lee and Abbey Carvey placed 12th and 13th respectively, setting personal bests at 18:29.1 and 18:31.7. Rounding out the Spartans scoring was sophomore Sarah Coyne, clocking an 18:35.4 in her debut.
The hosting Central Michigan Chippewas and Emily Paupore (17:08.1) secured the women’s 5K win with 25 points while Eastern Michigan tallied 50 and Michigan State 59.
The teams have a couple weeks to prepare ahead of their next meet, the Spartan Invitational which MSU will be hosting at the Forest Akers East Golf Course on Friday, September 15.