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They smiled through chattering teeth.
Freshman Zach Burns (Cambridge City, Ind./Lincoln High School) lowered his own Indiana University East men's cross country record by 63 seconds, and three more Red Wolves posted personal bests at the Wilmington College Invitational on one of the coldest Oct. 16ths in the area's history.
"I'm proud of everybody out here," said sophomore James Healton (Centerville, Ind./Centerville High School). "Everybody is doing great.
"We've been working really hard. A lot of us have been hitting the weights, and the workouts have been up. We went from 30 or 40 miles a week to 50 or 60 or 70 a week for me and Zach. We've upped our tempo and everything."
Burns finished 19th in the 265-runner field in 26:35. Burns passed several runners in his closing kick to earn his top-20 finish.
"Zach was flying," Healton said.
Healton was 133rd in 29:03, a personal best by 119 seconds.
"I started pretty strong and was actually afraid because I usually don't start that strong. The second mile I was pretty tired but I pushed through it and the rest was pretty easy.
Freshman Jon Strong (Connersville, Ind./Connersville High School) was 241st in 35:08. Freshman Jordan Kearney (Centerville, Ind./Centerville High School) was 246th in 36:35, a personal best by 3:41. Sophomore Nick Reece (Fountain City, Ind./Richmond High School) was 257th in 39:34, a personal best by 5:21.
The four Red Wolves who recorded personal bests lowered their collective times by 11:01.
"It was fun," Healton said.
Bryce Wilson of Rio Grande won the men's meet in 25:19. Rio Grande won the team title.
The IU East men will compete in an NAIA National Championships qualifying meet along with schools from the TranSouth Conference, the Southern States Conference and independent Voorhees College on Nov. 6 in Nashville, Tenn.