University of Illinois Springfield sophomore Eli Cook and McKendree sophomore Benjamin Richter ran stride-for-stride Friday throughout most of the 6,000-meter course at UIS.
Cook was doing his best to kick off UIS’ inaugural cross country season with a win. He had a shot until Richter pulled away from him down the stretch for a nine-second victory.
Cook, a Millikin University transfer and Rochester High School product, placed second in 20:22.
“We were side by side up until the last 400,” Cook said. “That was my plan the whole time. Ben is a real talented runner, so I knew if I could hang with him I’d do well. I was shooting for between 20:15 and 20:30, so I was right in that range. I had a negative split and ran a lot faster that last 2K, and that’s always a good thing. I’m pleased and happy.”
Freshman Ethan Bluhm was right behind Cook to give the Prairie Stars a 2-3 finish. Bluhm crossed the line in 20:57.
Cook’s and Bluhm’s finishes helped UIS place second in the team standings.
This article appeared online in The State Journal-Register on September 11, 2015.
Read the entire article here.