Briton runners dominant in Pre-Regional Meet

Briton runners dominant in Pre-Regional Meet

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Albion College served notice that it will be one of the top men's cross country teams in the Great Lakes region Saturday morning.

Opening the season ranked third in the region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the Britons took first place in the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational.

Led by a quartet (Kiehl Smith, Kody DeHaan, Trey Cucuro and Adam Ditri) finishing among the top 10 runners, Albion was 49 points better than the second place squad from the University of Mount Union.

Smith, a junior from Jonesville, Mich., completed the 8K course in 26 minutes, 29 seconds. He finished nearly 10 seconds ahead of Austin Neura.

"I'm happy with the race. I put in a huge summer (of training)," Smith said. "I was with the top two guys for the first mile and then I took it and led for the rest of the race. It was exciting to do that by myself."

The rest of the Britons top five ran in a tight pack with just 12 separating the second and fifth runners.

DeHaan was fifth in 27:27 and Cucuro, finishing seventh, was right behind at 27:29. Ditri was 10th (27:35) and Andrew Wittland (Albion's fifth runner) crossed the finish line in 12th (27:39).

First-year runner Aaron Weimer (28:06) and Chase Baumgardner (28:23) completed Albion's top seven.

"The team (performance) was awesome. We packed up and quite a bit of balance," Smith said.

Next up for the Britons is a Sept. 8 meet hosted by the University of Detroit Mercy in Northville, Mich.

Follow the Britons on Twitter: @AlbionXCTF