YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio — The Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops swept to victory in both the men's and women's races of the 2011 Pre-NCAC Invitational, hosted by Wittenberg University at John Bryan State Park.
Ohio Wesleyan topped a seven-team field on the men's side with 28 points, putting its top five finishers in the top 10 to easily outdistance second-place Wittenberg. The Tigers checked in with 75 points, followed by North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) rivals Denison (81), Kenyon (82) and Wooster (85) in a top pack that rounded out the top five. Capital finished sixth with 184 points and Urbana placed seventh with 222.
On the women's side, Ohio Wesleyan again stood atop a seven-team field, with all five Battling Bishops placing in the top 20 to squeak past Wooster by two points. OWU totalled 56 points to Wooster's 58, followed closely by Wittenberg with 69. Kenyon and Denison tied for fourth with 84 apiece, followed by Capital (154) and Urbana (225).
The men's race was won individually by Denison All-American Dee Salukombo, who crossed the finish line in a time of 25:51, a full 30 seconds ahead of Ohio Wesleyan's Evan Hitchcock. Alexander Chappars of Denison placed third, followed by Shane Brandt of Ohio Wesleyan and Patrick Meyers of Kenyon, who rounded out the top five.
Wittenberg's top finished by junior Trevor Grandy (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman), who finished the 8-kilometer race in 27:01, good for 11th place. The key to the Tigers' strong team finish was a good pack of runners right behind Grandy, as Wittenberg put four runners in the next seven positions.
Leading that pack was junior Adam Markins (Chillicothe, Ohio/Union Scioto) in 14th place, followed by senior Jarrett Cowgill (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) in 15th, sophomore Wade Westbrook () in 17th and sophomore Jacob Kuntz (Versailles, Ky./Woodford) in 18th.
Capital's Emma McCarron topped the field in the women's 5-kilometer race as she reached the finish in 18:59, 13 seconds ahedad of Jenn Willett from Kenyon. Hannah Sampson from Ohio Wesleyan placed third, Colleen O'Neil from Wooster took fourth, and Wittenberg senior Mary Pfeifer (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman) checked in at No. 5.
Sophomore Molly King (Springfield, Ohio/Northeastern) was the next Tiger finisher, placing eighth in a time of 19:49. She was followed by senior Anna Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) in 11th, sophomore Shannon Kelleher (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby) and sophomore Maggie McIlvain (East Liverpool, Ohio/East Liverpool) in 25th.