Norse sprints to second place in Chi-town race

The windy-city didn’t affect Northern Kentucky University Cross Country runner Julianne Hoekzema as she finished in second place in the 35th Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational hosted by Loyola-Chicago University Sept. 29.

Hoekzema ran a time of 18:27 in the Women’s 5-K to finish in second, which was 18 seconds behind first-place-winner Missouri Southern State’s Kimi Shank.

The Norse also had strong showings from Jenna Siemer, who ran a 19:18, placing 16th in the field of 286 runners. Alisha Hansman (30), Janice Laker (34) and Kira Cooper (61) were the other top finishers for Steve Kruse’s NKU team.

As a team the Norse finished in fourth place with Great Lakes Regional rivals Findlay and Ferris State finishing ahead of NKU.

On the men’s side of the competition, the Norse is seeing the emergence of Ryne Smith as the lead runner. Smith placed 25th out of the 234 runners in the race, finishing with a time of 25:33 in the Men’s 8-K.

Matthew Shoulta finished second on the team, which has become typical of the junior runner.

The men’s team finished in fifth place with 160 points edging out region rival Saginaw Valley State.

The Norse will compete in the SIUE Border Wars Oct. 6 in Edwardsville, Ill.