Lopes thrive amid new race day safety measures
By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
Race day? A different look. The Lopes’ success? Same old same old.
Grand Canyon University Running Club had all five runners place in the top three for their age group, while three of them secured top five overall finishes at the 5th Annual Phoenix Shamrock 5k at Kiwanis Park in Tempe on Sunday.
“They were excited for the opportunity, but they were not sure how their bodies would respond to racing again,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Kimberly Weeldreyer. “However, that did not slow them down.”
After over a year since their last competition, the Lopes were thrilled to race again and willfully adapted to the added safety measures. Their resiliency showed as all five GCU runners managed to place in the top three for their age group despite the unfamiliarity of a socially distanced race.
For Lopes Brian Durbin and Hunter Vilhauer, their impressive times earned them top overall finishes as well. Durbin finished the race with a time of 18:10, placing 2nd in his age group and 4th overall out of the 251 total racers. Vilhauer recorded a 17:24 time, earning him 1st place in his age group, and 2nd place overall in his first-ever race as a Lope.
“It was a very strange race day,” said Lopes’ sophomore Kendall Drisko. “The start line felt so laid back. I was all by myself when I began the race.”
Drisko adjusted seamlessly as she finished with a time of 18:31 and claimed the first place overall female title. Her impressive time also landed Drisko 5th place overall.
The long-awaited race left Weeldreyer proud of what the team was able to accomplish as they now embark on yet another race day drought.
“Kudos to them for stepping up and just seeing where they were at,” said Weeldreyer. “This was our first and only race this year, so they had to make the most of it.”
GCU Running Club Contenders
|Kendall Drisko||5k||F18-24||1st||18:31||1st female, 5th overall|
|Hunter Vilhauer||5k||M18-24||1st||17:24||2nd overall|
|Brian Durbin||5k||M18-24||2nd||18:10||4th overall|
|Ryan McQuillan||5k||M18-24||3rd||20:38||11th overall|
|Cheyenne Archuleta||5k||F18-24||2nd||25:43||6th female, 31st overall|
Interested in joining GCU Club Running? Contact Head Coach Kimberly Weeldreyer today!