WILMINGTON, Ohio - Wittenberg University's men's and women's cross country teams piled up eight personal-best times in an outstanding team performance at Wilmington's #JennaStrong Invitational.
The Tiger men placed 14th out of 36 teams in the competition, while the Tiger women finished 21st out of 37 teams in the race. Berea finished first on the men's side by a wide margin over Miami (Ohio) and Heidelberg. Miami (Ohio) took the spot for the women, followed by Ohio Dominican and Huntington.
"A lot of people ran personal-bests but still weren't satisfied," said Tiger Head Coach Craig Penney. "This is a very positive step because we are increasing goal expectations and know we can improve.
"Upperclassmen have provided role models and leadership. While we are a young team, we are making great improvements. We are going to take a team to the conference meet that can do some great things."
The leading Tiger for the women was junior Erin Hord (Madison, Ohio/Madison), who crossed the finish line in 19:24 to finish 30th. Next up was senior Megan Heitkemper (Maineville, Ohio/Kings), who provided the highlight amongst the runners with personal-best times as she broke the 21-minute barrier in the 5K for the first time in her collegiate career. Heitkemper placed 101st in a time of 20:48.
Rounding out the Tiger women who scored were senior Megan Bittinger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Christian) in 116th in 21:01, freshman Katie Winner (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) in 131st in 21:12, and senior Lorin Conti (Milford, Ohio/Milford) in 162nd in 21:29. The field included 343 runners.
Junior Jon Osman (Troy, Ohio/Troy) led the Wittenberg men in 21st place as he crossed the finish line of the 8K race in 26:08. He was followed by freshman Alex Quillin (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) in 63rd in 27:19.
Also scoring for Wittenberg were freshman Charles Rodeheffer (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) in 90th in 27:40, junior Ethan Raines (Maineville, Ohio/Kings) in 129th in 28:11, and sophomore Jersson Pachar (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) in 154th in 28:32. A total of 349 runners were entered in the event.
Written By: Ryan Maurer