WILMINGTON, Ohio - In perhaps the surest sign of significant progress in years, the Wittenberg men's and women's cross country teams turned in a pair of outstanding finishes at the Wilmington Invitational. The Tiger women placed second in the 24-team field, powered by third- and fourth-place individual finishes, and the Tiger men wound up seventh in a 23-team field.
The meet was the final tune-up for the Tigers before the Nov. 1 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship meet at Oberlin. Wittenberg hasn't put a team in the top half of that meet in five years, but the strong finishes at Wilmington give reason for hope that one or both of the Tiger teams will break that streak very soon.
The Wittenberg women were paced by freshman Darcy Dubuc (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven), who placed third in the 210-runner field. Her time of 19:07.02 covering the 5-kilometer course was nearly matched by freshman Anna Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston), who placed fourth with a time of 19:15.05. They were followed by freshman Mary Pfeifer (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman) in 13th in 19:41.45, freshman Emma Crosby (Rockford, Mich./Rockford) in 31st with a time of 20:32.17 and freshman Jordan Stafford (Enon, Ohio/Greenon) in 34th with a time of 20:38.52.
The Wittenberg men actually finished in a seventh-place tie, led by senior Gabe Savage (Lewisburg, Ohio/Tri-County North) in seventh place individually with a time of 25:38.23 over the 8-kilometer course. Sophomore Kevin Frick (Columbus, Ohio/Grandview) was next in 24th with a time of 26:12.63, followed by sophomoreAndrew Carter (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) in 32nd with a time of 26:37.38, sophomore Matt Overturf (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Benjamin Logan) in 68th with a time of 27:46.99 and senior Ben McCombs (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) in 70th with a time of 27:50.66.