WESTERVILLE, Ohio - To cap off one of the best seasons in program history, the Tiger men's and women's cross country wrapped up the season with another pair of strong efforts as the women took 11th and the men claimed 18th in their respective fields at the Great Lakes Regional Championships held at Otterbein College.
A pair of freshmen for the Tiger women once again topped the charts en route to All-Great Lakes Region performances. Freshman Mary Pfeifer (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman) took 19th overall, a place that left her just on the outside of a NCAA National Championships individual qualification. Just two places back, freshmanDarcy Dubuc (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) took 21st place to close out a sensational rookie year for the Tiger harriers. All-Regional honors are awarded to the top 35 finishers.
Freshman Emma Crosby (Rockford, Ill./Rockford) took 90th overall to help propel the Tigers to their finish that landed them in the top third of the region. Running her last race in a Tiger uniform was senior Kate McIlvain (East Liverpool, Ohio/East Liverpool), who finished in 154th for Head Coach Craig Penney's squad.
On the men's side, senior Gabe Savage (Lewisburg, Ohio/Tri-County North) put the finishing touches on a stellar cross country career with a 39th-place finish to help guide the men to a 18th place result. Savage finished just four spots outside the All-Regional squad. Sophomore Kevin Frick (Columbus, Ohio/Grandview) led a quartet of sophomore competitors for Wittenberg, taking 63rd overall. Senior Ben McCombs (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) joined Savage in his final cross country meet, taking 153rd overall.
The 2008 campaign proved not only to be a banner year for the Tigers teams, but a positive sign for the future, as the Tigers men's and women's teams will return 11 of their 14 regional competitors for 2009. This comes in a season where the men took their best finish in a decade in the conference meet, while the women finished in their highest place in program history with a fourth place performance at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships.
Written By: Ben Bradley, SID Assistant