Moraine Valley Community College || Athletics || Mens' Cross Country

Men's Cross Country—Archives

2013 Season

All-Region IV team: Dawid Palac and Brandon Ceh
All-Conference team:
Palac (#2) and Thomas Cira (#10)

Day Date Race Location Time Results
Fri. 8/30 Earlybird Invitational @
Elmhurst College
Eldridge Park
Elmhurst, IL
5:45 p.m. Canceled
Fri. 9/6 Midwest Classic @
Olivet Nazarene University
Aspen Ridge Golf Course
Bourbonnais, IL
5:45 p.m. 9th Place o/o 12 Teams
Fri. 9/13 Illinois Intercollegiates @ Olivet Nazarene University Aspen Ridge Golf Course
Bourbonnais, IL
5:45 p.m. 16th Place o/o 18 Teams
Sat. 9/21 Gil Dodds Invitational @ Wheaton College St. James Farm
Warrenville, IL
11 a.m. 12th Place o/o 14 Teams
Fri. 9/27 College of DuPage Invite St. James Farm
W
arrenville, IL
5 p.m. 17th Place o/o 21 Teams
Sat. 10/5 Warrior Invitational @
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Greenfield Park
West Allis, WI
Noon 13th Place o/o 25 Teams
Sat. 10/19 Brooks Invitational @
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Lake Breeze Golf Course
Winneconne, WI
11:15 a.m. 34th Place o/o 37 Teams
Sat. 10/26 Skyway Conference @ Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills, IL 10:45 a.m. 3rd Place o/o 5 Teams
Results
Sat. 11/2 NJCAA Region IV Championships @
Joliet Junior College
Channahon, IL 11:45 a.m. 4th Place o/o 7 Teams
(National qualifiers: Dawid Palac, Brandon Ceh and Thomas Cira)
Sat. 11/9 NJCAA Championships @
Iowa Central College
Fort Dodge, IA 10 a.m. Dawid Palac- 123/298 (28:08)
Brandon Ceh- 202/298 (29:38)
Thomas Cira- 226/298 (30:07)

February 25, 2013
Runners honored for academic performance
Four members of the cross country team earned 2012 Academic All-NJCAA honors from the National Junior College Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding work in the classroom.
Phil Culbertson, Rich Ferneau, Aaron Spengler, and Diana Dinh were recognized for academic achievement for the fall 2012 semester. Culbertson also earned the honor in 2011.

In addition, the men’s team earned Academic All-NJCAA Team designation, ranking 18th among Division I colleges. Culbertson, Ferneau, Spengler, Adam Gurke, and Eugene Rivera comprised the academic team.

The women’s team also earned recognition as the 24th ranked team in Division I. This is the first time that both teams have been ranked in the top 25 in the same season.
The Moraine Valley cross country program has fielded 36 Academic All-Americans/Academic since the program was reinstituted in 2000.

“These scholar-athletes are simply outstanding. They attend class full time, work part time, and excel as athletes and students. Their performance on and off the field speaks highly of them. I am very proud of their achievement. It is a tremendous honor for them and Moraine Valley,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer.


November 13, 2012
Cyclones gain experience in 2012
The 2012 Moraine Valley cross country season ended Nov. 10 at the NJCAA national championship the way it began—with bright prospects looming.

Three Cyclones competed in the championship with sophomore Phil Culbertson (Stagg) leading the way as he has done all season followed by freshmen Ryan Altman (Sandburg) and Thomas Cira (Brother Rice), both of whom will be called upon to provide leadership in the 2013 campaign.

Culbertson capped a two-year stint as a harrier with All-Region IV honors, a spot in the national championship, and a record-setting performance during the season. “Phil is one of the hardest workers we have ever had, and his dedication to his sport paid off for him this year,” said Mark Horstmeyer, who completed his 13th year as head coach. “Phil loves to run and his passion helped him succeed this year. We are very proud of his accomplishments, and he definitely will help out at the next level wherever that may be.”

Altman and Cira had solid first-years and gained a lot of experience that will help them prepare for next fall. “If they do the work in the long off-season, and I believe they will, they will be ready to pick up where they left off this year and move quite a ways forward,” Horstmeyer said. “We will really be looking for them to lead the team in 2013.”

Also finishing their two-year stint as Cyclones were Adam Gurke (Reavis) and Rich Gray (Stagg). “We really appreciated Adam’s leadership this year. He is an extremely hard worker, and it’s unfortunate that injuries prevented him from maximizing his potential this year. He will be an asset, however, next year if he chooses to continue his running. For two years, Richie brought a lot of enthusiasm and a positive attitude every day to practice. Injuries and illness unfortunately hampered his progress this year, but we expect him to really contribute at the next level when he’s healthy and fit,” Horstmeyer said.

Gaining experience this year were Eisenhower grads Milton Estrada and Eugene Rivera, Rich Ferneau (Stagg), Aaron Spengler (Sandburg), and Sergio Villarreal (St. Laurence). “They gained a lot of knowledge of college racing and the preparation it takes to compete week in and week out,” their coach said. “They were slowed by knee problems off and on during the season, so that cut into their training. If they get healthy and dedicate themselves to building a strong base during the off-season, they can really help us next year. We will give them the support they need, but in the end it’s up to them to commit time and energy to improving. If they do, they will realize a lot of success and be a force for us next fall,” Horstmeyer said.


November 12, 2012
Cyclones turn in solid effort at NJCAA championship
Phil Culbertson, Ryan Altman and Thomas Cira represented the running Cyclones at the NJCAA championship at Rend Lake College on Nov. 10, and turned in solid results.

Culbertson finished 186th in 29:47 followed by Altman (233rd, 30:56) and Cira (234th, 30:58) over the windy and warm 8K course on the Rend Lake golf course.

There were 280 finishers. “They did a nice job. The weather was a factor, and the course was deceptively challenging, so it turned out to be a slow race for all of the runners,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer. “I am really proud of Phil, Ryan and Thomas, and very pleased that they had had this fantastic opportunity to compete in a national championship. They represented us very well.”


October 29, 2012
Three Cyclones to compete at national championship
Led by the Cyclones’ three national qualifiers, Moraine Valley captured fourth place at the NJCAA Region IV Division I Cross Country Championship on Oct. 27 at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon.

Phil Culbertson led the charge over the 8K course with a 10th-place finish in 27:55 followed by Ryan Altman (18th, 28:42) and Thomas Cira (20th, 28:52), all first-time national qualifiers. Next across the finish was Adam Gurke (24th, 29:26), Milton Estrada (36th, 30:30), Aaron Spengler (41st, 31:05), Rich Ferneau (42nd, 31:08), Eugene Rivera (48th, 32:16), and Sergio Villarreal (50th, 32:39). There were 63 finishers and nine teams. Culbertson, a sophomore, was named to the All-Region IV Division I team. He, Altman and Cira will travel to Rend Lake Community College in Ina, Ill., to compete in the NJCAA championship on Nov. 10.

“I’m really proud of our team as a whole. They gave it their best shot, and that’s all you can ask for,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer. “This was a tough field, and they battled the whole way. They had a really solid finish to their season and have a lot of motivation going into next fall.”

Horstmeyer had high praise for the Cyclones’ three national qualifiers. “The way Phil came back from last week’s disappointment at conference was just great. The icing on the cake was being named to the All-Region team. Ryan and Thomas hung in there and then just gutted it out at the end. We couldn’t be happier for them.”

Now they have an opportunity to compete in a national championship—something few runners get to experience. “They have been pointing to this all season, and we have two weeks to fine-tune and get them ready to do their best. We’re excited for them, and extremely pleased they earned this opportunity. It will be a life-long memory,” Horstmeyer said.


2012 Season

All-Region IV team: Phil Culbertson

Day Date Race Location Time Results
Fri. 8/31 Earlybird Invitational @
Elmhurst College
Eldridge Park
Elmhurst, IL
5:45 p.m. 11th o/o 18 Teams
Phil Culbertson-51st (20:48.9)
Thomas Cira-83rd (22:12.7)
Adam Gurke-89th (22:31.3)
Milton Estrada-98th (22:59.3)
Aaron Spengler-120th (23:42.4)
Sergio Villarreal-123rd (23:56.1)
Rich Gray-140th (25:04.7)
Fri. 9/7 Midwest Classic @
Olivet Nazarene University
Aspen Ridge Golf Course
Bourbonnais, IL
5:45 p.m. 9th o/o 10 Teams
Fri. 9/14 Illinois Intercollegiates @
Illinois State University
University Golf Course
Normal, IL
5:45 p.m. 28th o/o 36 Teams
Sat. 9/22 Wheaton Invitational @ Wheaton College St. James Farm
Warrenville, IL
11 a.m. 9th o/o 11 Teams
Fri. 9/28 College of DuPage-Puma Invite St. James Farm
W
arrenville, IL
5 p.m. 7th o/o 11 Teams
Sat. 10/6 Warrior Invite @
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Greenfield Park
West Allis, WI
11 a.m. 5th o/o 12 Teams
Sat. 10/13 Brooks Invitational @
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Lake Breeze Golf Course
Winneconne, WI
11:15 a.m. 32nd o/o 38 Teams
Sat. 10/20 Skyway Conference @ Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills Golf Club
Palos Hills, IL
10:45 a.m. Tied for 3rd o/o 7 Teams
Team Results
Sat. 10/27 NJCAA Region IV Championships @
Sauk Valley Community College
Dixon, IL 11:45 a.m. 4th o/o 9 Teams
(National qualifiers- Phil Culbertson, Ryan Altman, Thomas Cira)
Sat. 11/10 NJCAA Championships @
Rend Lake College
Ina, IL 10 a.m. Phil Culbertson-186/280 (29:47)
Ryan Altman- 233/280 (30:56)
Thomas Cira- 234/280 (30:58)

March 15, 2012
Moraine Valley runners honored for academic performance
Two members of the men's cross country team earned 2011 Academic All NJCAA honors from the National Junior College Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Jon Altman (Sandburg) and Phil Culbertson (Stagg) were recognized for academic achievement for the fall 2011 semester. Altman also was honored in 2010 as a member of the men's team designated as an Academic All-America team.

The Moraine Valley cross country program has fielded 32 Academic All-Americans/Academic since the program was reinstituted in 2000.

"These scholar-athletes are simply outstanding. They attend class full time, work part time, and excel as athletes and students. Their performance on and off the field speaks highly of them. I am very proud of their achievement. It is a tremendous honor for them and Moraine Valley," coach Mark Horstmeyer said.


November 18, 2011
Cyclones season not for faint hearted
The men's season can be characterized by a hyphenated word: near-miss. They missed winning the conference title by seven points and a place in the national championship by two points. The season also can be characterized by top performances.

"It certainly was a character-building year," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who completed his 12th season at the helm. "When the guys reflect on what might have been, they should reflect even more on what they accomplished. There were solid performances and post-season honors. We showed improvement from a year ago."

Sophomore Jon Altman (Sandburg) led the charge attaining All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference honors for the second straight year and nailing down a spot in the NJCAA Cross Country Championship in Hobbs, New Mexico. He also was a member of the Cyclones 2010 Academic All-American team. "Jon has been our leader all year, not so much by what he said, rather by how day in and day out he set the bar for what he expected of himself. I give him a lot of props. He came into the year with a new philosophy on how to approach the season, and it paid off for him. He wants to continue his running at the next level, and he will make a contribution. He has learned a lot the past two years and that will indeed help him," Horstmeyer said.

Also finishing his career at Moraine Valley is Luke Bronson (Bremen), a two-time All-Conference selection and a national qualifier last year. He just missed qualifying this year. He also earned a spot on Moraine Valley's All-Academic team. Luke has been a solid contributor for us, and if he decides he wants to run at the next level, he will be an asset.

Also concluding his Cyclones career is Felipe Rivera (Eisenhower). "If they handed out awards for hardest working and most dedicated, Felipe would be 'all-world.' He worked extremely hard all year, starting with the off-season last winter. He was determined to improve his personal best time, and he did, cutting more than a minute off his PR from last year. If he wants to continue running at his next school, he will be a contributor," Horstmeyer said.

Freshmen also were contributors starting with Adam Gurke (Reavis), who qualified for the national championship and ran in the top seven all year. "Adam is another hard-worker despite having chronic knee pain. He just refuses to let that be an issue. We look forward to having him back next year to provide that leadership from the experience he gained this year," Horstmeyer said.

Phil Culbertson (Stagg) will be counted on heavily next year after gaining a lot of experience in 2011. "Phil is another one of our hard workers who also has a passion for the sport. If we are to compete for titles next years we will need him. He has tremendous potential," his coach said.

Mohamed Assadalla (Bahrain) also is expected to help out a lot next fall. "Mohamed never competed in cross country until he joined the team this year, and his improvement was remarkable," Horstmeyer said. "He dropped his time in each successive race, finishing the season with a PR. From his experience this year and for the training he will put in during the off-season, he should be right in there. He has a lot of natural ability."

Adam Tyrka (Reavis) was the third member of the Cyclones' All-Conference contingent who also will be expected to help next year. "Adam had some bad luck this year. The week before regionals he got the flu, and although he tried to gut it out, he never really recovered," Horstmeyer said.

Rich Gray (Stagg) had to deal with a lot of health issues, according to his coach, but "he came on strong at the end of the season. He knows what he has to do during the long off-season and is determined to come into the new year really fit. He has a real upside."

November 14, 2011
Cyclones compete at national championship

Two Cyclones battled a multitude of challenges Nov. 12 at the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Hobbs, New Mexico, and gained a lot of experience from the effort.

Jon Altman (Sandburg) and Adam Gurke (Reavis) were among 288 competitors who had to deal with strong winds, an "obstacle-like" 8K on the Ocotillo Golf Club course, and 3,500 feet of elevation. "This was a tough race, physically and mentally, because of the course conditions and weather and elevation. I think both guys learned a lot about competing and that will serve them well next year," said coach Mark Horstmeyer.

"Adam not only had to battle the conditions, but he also had to contend with his season-long chronic knee pain that flared up from the series of roller coaster mounds. I give him a lot of credit for gutting it out," Horstmeyer said. Gurke finished in 268th place in 33:42. "Jon fought the good fight, but unfortunately he started cramping, got sick and had to stop," Horstmeyer said. "He toughed it out as long as he could. It was just one of those days."

Even though the results were not what the two Cyclones wanted, they both had solid seasons. Altman closed out his career as a two-time All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference runner and as a national qualifier while Gurke, a freshman, has a shot at a second national qualifying berth next year in addition to conference and regional accolades.

"I can't say enough about Jon. He is a hard worker and dedicated to improving every week. He has a great deal of experience competing not only against other community colleges but also against four-year schools of all levels. He is not intimidated by big races nor strong competition. He's in there every race trying to contribute to his team's success. He will be a solid addition next year wherever he chooses to go," Horstmeyer said.

"After a year of valuable experience, I'm really looking forward to seeing what Adam can do next year. I know he will use this year's national experience as motivation to spend the off season getting fitter and come back next season even more determined," Horstmeyer said. "He has a tremendous upside."