The cross-country team ran for the last time this season in Morehead, Ky., when it competed in the OVC Championships Nov. 3.
The women took fifth, dropping one spot from last year’s finish.
The men’s team improved from last year’s placement, taking eighth in the competition. It was the highest finish they’ve ever had under Head Coach Jenny Severns.
“The tournament was just an average day for us,” Severns said, “That is disappointing because you want to see something more in such a big race.”
The tournament was not Murray State’s best race this season. Throughout the year, each runner had at least one race in which he or she beat a personal record.
On her way to earning first for the Racers, freshman Emma Gilmore raced a personal best of 18:34.30. Gilmore was named to the All-Conference team.
“It means more that it happened at the OVC” Gilmore explained. “I hoped to run well, but to say I expected it isn’t true.”
Though the women took fifth as a team, Gilmore said she is happy with the results.
“I was really proud of the girls,” Gilmore said. “I know there was disappointment because the way the race turned out didn’t replicate how hard we have worked.”
Severns said the team will try to rebuild for next season with recruits and more depth.
“I need to find a better balance in how much I talk about (the OVC tournament),” Severns said. “I feel like I didn’t talk about it enough, and they weren’t really pumped up this season.”
Gilmore said she wants to focus on improving consistency for next season.
“I’ve been so up and down, and I think I have finally reached a point where I think it will continue to go up” Emma Gilmore said. “Every year we just look to get better than we were the year before.”
The men placed lower overall, but improved on last season’s tournament.
Severns said the mentality of the men stood out and played a big factor in the way they ran.
“The guys were more fearless,” Severns said. “They just went for it.”
Freshman Evan Staviski finished first for the men of Murray State with a personal best time of 26:33.04.
He said he did not expect to place first; he was only trying to run the best he could.
Severns said she was more pleased with the season as a whole than with the OVC Championships.
“OVC was good, but I don’t want it to define our season,” Severns said. “We have a really good foundation. Now we just need to add to it a little bit.”
Story by Mallory Warmack, Staff writer