On Sept. 15, IUPUI would come out victorious in their own invitational with a statement win over five other schools which included Oakland, Purdue Fort Wayne, UIndy, Northern Kentucky and Thomas More.
The IUPUI men’s cross country team took the Jaguar Invitational by storm with a remarkable victory. IUPUI finished with the fastest runner and in total, seven of their runners finished top 10. They would defeat second place Oakland by 24 points.
Senior Nate Keiser caught his second victory of the year by a long margin. He finished with a time of 24:24.97 which was around 14 seconds faster than second place, senior Yami Albrecht from Oakland. Third, fourth and fifth were all Jaguars with graduate Student Andrew Whittinger, and juniors Eric Petersen and Grant Moon all coming in with times of 24:52.56, 24:53.79 and 24:54.95 respectively.
“I was a big fish in a small pond and the pond is about to get a lot bigger, so I am always grateful to win a race, but now there’s bigger fish to fry,” Kaiser said.
This victory is IUPUI’s first of the season and puts them in a good spot for their upcoming meets. According to Kaiser they are looking to use this as motivation for Conference and Regionals in the future. Coming off of a second place and a victory has to feel good for this Jags team, and they will look to continue this path of excellence for the upcoming meets.
“The Jag invite gave a great indication of fitness. There’s nothing to prove, so focus on a big block of training before getting out there and helping the team be successful,” Kaiser said.
The Jaguars seem to have very little in their way as they prepare for the upcoming meets, and focus on only staying at the top.
“I went over to all my teammates' houses, gave them pep talks and then threw away their ice cream, candy and McDonald’s. We will see how the strategy pans out on Friday,” Kaiser said laughing.
IUPUI’s next race will be in South Bend, Indiana, for the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by Notre Dame. The Jags look to continue this dominant streak against some big schools. In 2022, IUPUI finished third place in this invitational, coming in after Youngstown State and UC Riverside. They look to be first, improving from last year’s third and are preparing in every way possible.
“Simply, eat more steak, praise Jesus and go horseback riding often. Doing things you love outside of running helps you stay calm when you have to put it all on the line on race day,” Kaiser said.
Hery Acosta is a senior majoring in Journalism with minors in Communication Studies and Geography. He is a reporter, writer and Sports Editor for the Campus Citizen. He is usually in the gym or out playing soccer or football with friends.