VU Cross Country ends season with a bang at Half Marathon Championships


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The 2023 Vincennes University Cross Country season came to a close Tuesday with the running of the 2023 NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships at John Hunt Park.

Members of the VU men’s and women’s Cross Country teams took part in the grueling 13.1 mile run and came away with an 18th place finish for the men’s team and an outstanding 10th place finish for the VU women’s team.

The VU men’s team was led by freshman Cody Noel (Hebron, Ind.) who finished with a time of 1:16:45.9, finishing 56th overall out of 155 runners.

Freshman Tanner Spence (Carmi, Ill.) was the next VU runner across the line, with a final time of 1:17:35.3 to finish 63rd.

Sophomore Griffin Worzella (Martinsville, Ind.) led the final group of Trailblazer men’s runners to the finish, ending with a time of 1:23:38.7 and placing 102nd overall.

Freshmen Caden Hostetler (LaGrange, Ind.) and John Hackney (Evansville, Ind.) rounded out the VU men’s race with Hostetler finishing at 1:24:25.0 and Hackney ending with a time of 1:25:20.0.

The Vincennes men’s team finished with 179 points and placed 18th overall out of 23 teams competing.

“Cody led the way for the men,” VU Head Cross Country Coach Tyler Steigenga said. “He got out well but wasn’t able to pick it up in the last few miles like he wanted. Tanner went out conservatively and moved up 40 places during the race, looking very strong throughout the race.”

“Caden did really well through 12 miles but had a really rough last 1.1 miles as he had to walk the final stretch,” Steigenga added. “He was dehydrated and depleted nutritionally, which made it hard to even finish. But I’m proud of him for getting to the line.”

“Griffin moved up around 20 places during the race to pass Caden in the home stretch to finish as our fourth runner,” Steigenga said. “John moved up around 30 places from the start to finish as our fifth runner.”

The VU women’s team were the big winners on the day for the Trailblazers, paced by freshman Adi Fuller (Evansville, Ind.) who finished with a time of 1:37:24.6 and finished 35th overall out of 114 runners.

Sophomore Ada Peterman (Clay City, Ill.) and freshman Lani Baskett (Sebree, Ky.) ran a tight race with Peterman just edging out Baskett with a time of 1:40:18.4 and Baskett finishing with a time of 1:40:49.5.

Peterman placed 45th overall and Baskett took 49th overall, giving the Trailblazers 109 points on the day to finish 10th overall as a team out of 22 teams competing.

“The women went out a little fast in the first few miles, but managed to have a good finish,” Steigenga said. “Adi maintained her place throughout the race and did a great job leading the team. Lani and Ada ran together for most of the race and lost a few places but managed to hold on in the last few miles.”

“I got a little worried when I saw how fast they had gone out when they came through the 5K splits,” Steigenga added. “But they had enough distance to hold on for a solid team finish. I was very pleased for them to get a 10th place team finish in their first race at that distance.”

With the Half Marathon now completed, these runners will now shift their focus to the 2024 Track and Field seasons.

The Trailblazers will begin the 2024 Indoor Track and Field season in January and the 2024 Outdoor Track and Field season to begin in March.

“It has been an up and down season for us,” Steigenga said. “But we finished on a good note Tuesday. We’ll take a little break and then get back to it for the Indoor Track season.”



VU (18) – 179 points

Cody Noel (56) – 1:16:45.9

Tanner Spence (63) – 1:17:35.3

Griffin Worzella (102) – 1:23:38.7

Caden Hostetler (107) – 1:24:25.0

John Hackney (111) – 1:25:20.0


VU (10) – 109 points

Adi Fuller (35) – 1:37:24.6

Ada Peterman (45) – 1:40:18.4

Lani Baskett (49) – 1:40:49.5