GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Freshman Sam Merriman (Middlesex, Vt./U-32) led his squad to the finish line in 18th place as the Case Western Reserve University men's cross country team placed fifth of 21 teams at Saturday's Knight Invite at the Gainey Athletic Complex.
Host and No. 23 nationally ranked Calvin College won the team title with 55 points, and the University of St. Francis (Ill.) was runner-up with 80. Aquinas College (Mich.) at 110 and Ohio Northern University at 118 were right ahead of the Spartans, who totaled 125 points.
Merriman ran the 8k course in 26:05.2 to become the first rookie in recent memory to lead the CWRU men's varsity team.
Rounding out the team scoring was sophomore Galen Caldwell (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) with a 31st-place time of 26:21.4 and sophomore Lou Takahashi (Columbus, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) with a 48th-place mark of 26:39.3.
The Spartans now have a week off before the program's annual Alumni Run at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 27 at Squire Valleevue Farm. The team's next official competition will be at the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championship at Cedarville University on Friday, October 3 at 2:00 p.m.