Aili and Soto Lead Lakers XC in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge

Aili and Soto Lead Lakers XC in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge

Grand Rapids, MI (10.26.2019): On a muddy and brisk day; the Lakers competed in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge. The combination of Uriah Aili and Elias Soto carried the Lakers to an 11th place finish out of 20 teams.

How it Happened: The Lakers were led by Uriah Aili, who finished 5th overall with a time of 27:02 on the 8k course, earning Aili a top 10 performance. Coach Tiberg, on Aili's performance, "Uriah ran well in the rough footing conditions at spots. I know he is looking to break that 27:00 flat barrier which is going to happen next race but he ran really well against NAIA competition".

The Lakers also saw a huge personal record from Elias Soto who placed 11th place with a time of 27:27 earning a personal record by over a minute. Coach Tiberg, on Soto's performance, "Elias is coming into his own and going to make a push for Nationals at the conference meet on the 9th. He has a great opportunity to earn that spot."

The Lakers remaining top five were led by breakout efforts from Valdemar Luna and Nolan Portteus; each running smart races placing 99th and 103rd with times of 29:39 and 29:46 respectively.  

The Laker's top five was rounded out by Mauricio Diaz who placed 119th with a time of 30:20 on the 8k course.


The NAIA Great Lakes Challenge was won by Mount Vernon Nazarene with a team score of 78 followed by Hannibal-La Grange with a score of 99.

Up Next: Lakers will be on the road in Lawrence, KA to compete in the A.I.I. Conference Championship hosted by Haskell Indian Nations University.  Lakers are set to race the 8000m course at 10:00 AM on Saturday, November 9th.

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