The Grand Rapids Community College cross country team competed in the Lansing Community College Invitational on Friday, Oct. 5 and had some record breaking performances in their ninth-place finish out of 26 schools.
Although it was a solid showing from the Raiders, this race was highlighted by two runners from the men’s team. Both Sam Borisch and Trystan Thayer not only set personal records, they both broke the school record for fastest time in the 8K. The previous record was set last year by former GRCC cross county member Chris Santana with a time of 26:15.
Borisch broke the record and was just four seconds away from cracking the 26 minute mark with a finishing time of 26:04. Borisch was pleased with his performance but knows he can be even better going forward.
“I definitely have a lot more goals,” Borisch said. “Next step would be breaking 26 minutes…when you’re that close and you think, you know, over five miles there were four seconds that I could’ve easily shaved off had I known. That kind of regret, you never want to have that after a race. So I’m definitely going to try my very hardest to be way under 26 minutes.”
With Borisch breaking the school record and setting a new personal record for himself, it was already a great day for GRCC cross country. Borisch had company though as his teammate and friend Thayer beat him by eight seconds officially setting the new school record with a time of 25:56.
Thayer was certain he was going to set a personal record but as the race went on, he was unaware of the record both he and Borisch were gaining on.
“Most of time you’re not paying attention to the times, but you’ll hear them kind of vaguely,” Thayer said. “One thing that I remember very vividly is the two-mile split. Our two-mile split was 10:15. I don’t know why I remember that…but other than that, I really had no awareness of where I was at timewise.”
Borisch and Thayer are both sophomore leaders on the team, and they seem to be working well together. Borisch contributes this to their preparation in practice as well as going beyond what is expected of them.
“I think the dynamic that we have as far as running together – we stick together completely in practice, we do all the extra stuff together,” Borisch said. “I think it’s been that long partnership that we just have this mental lock, we stay together as long as we possibly can in the race. And (Thayer) did break away with about a mile and a half to go, but I didn’t let him leave me that far…I think consistency in training. I’ve never had the kind of consistency that I’ve had in the last year.”
As an overall team, the Raiders performed well and had many other runners achieve personal best records in this race. Freshmen Dallas Mora and Matthew Spees both set personal records on the men’s side. Mora finished with a time of 27:48 and Spees broke his personal record by a full minute when he finished in 28:33.
All four women competed in the 5K race and all four women finished with their best times of the season. Hannah Jefferis finished 38th overall with her time of 20:15. Edith Jesang also set her season best time with 21:49 which was over a minute faster than she had previously done this season.
Thayer thought the team performed admirably overall and was proud of everyone’s efforts in the invitational.
“I think we did pretty well,” Thayer said. “We took ninth in the race itself, we took third in our conference which was based off the teams that were there from our conference, so that was a nice thing to see. Kind of overall, I think it was a great race for us just because every guy that raced, I’m pretty sure ran their personal best time.”
Borisch believes the competitive nature on the team can help everyone get better going forward, including himself as he’ll be trying to get even with Thayer.
“I would like to go after (Thayer) obviously,” Borisch said with a chuckle. “If I can beat him, we’ll…each have even amounts of victories I guess over the other. It’s not really about that, but it’s definitely a motivator. You’re with each other but you’re also racing at the end. And, it’d be cool for me to actually hold the record for a little bit instead of just breaking it.”
Thayer, Borisch and the rest of the GRCC men’s and women’s teams will have their chance to break more school records this Friday, Oct. 12 when they compete in the Muskegon Community College Invitational at the University Park Golf Course in Muskegon, Michigan. The men’s team is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. while the women will start their race shortly after at 1:45 p.m.