Written By: Sutton Jacobs '18
Oshkosh, Wis. – The Men's and Women's Cross Country teams travelled north over Fall break to the cold of Oshkosh, Wis. to preview the Division III National Meet coming in November. Over 1,800 collegiate runners gathered at the start line between the races.
"The results don't reflect the efforts and that they displayed is the toughest meet of the year," Coach Craig Penney said. "Twenty-five top teams in Division III raced today. I'm pleased with the effort and work."
The women found themselves with a low overall finish, placing 49th of 52. Alexis Gray, junior, made her first appearance on the course after a slow start to the season, coming in first for the Tiger squad at 24:57.8 in 214th overall. Freshman Elizabeth Canright crossed the line shortly behind at 25:03.3 in 223rd place on the six-kilometer course. Next across the line, clocking 25:32.9, was sophomore Erika Bournival. Freshmen Lauren Welker, Morgan Ely and Annalee Lynn rounded out the two minute, 54 second Tiger scoring gap. The Tiger trio crossed the line 26:01.8, 27:00.6 and 27:51.2 respectively against national competition. Kyla McGee and Syney Shannon appeared against national competition in the open race.
"Alexis had a solid first race," said Penney. "Elizabeth was steady, Erika ran solid. They too displayed grit and energy. Two weeks until conference, they should be ready to roll."
The men struggled on the national level, who placed 49th of 50. Freshman Ryan Zimmerman led the Tiger charge, clocking 28:37.9. Senior Jersson Pachar powered his way through the highly-competitive field to cross the line in 28:52.3 shortly behind Zimmerman. Andrew Reese once again places in the Tiger top-five, clocking 29:11.4 on the tough course. Having an unfortunate run on the day, senior Charles Rodeheffer followed close behind Reese at 29:17.9 for 320th place. Brad Arledge rounded out the top-five at 29:47.8 to close out the one minute, ten second gap not long before Evan Schreiber came through the line at 29:52.1 hot on the heels of Arledge. Cullen Sainey and Jack Chambers represented Wittenberg Cross Country in the men's open.
"Although it was somewhat of a deflated score," Penney said, "we had a positive experience. It's one to build on as we move toward conference."
Back in Ohio, several runners took to the Jenna Strong Fall Classic and hit the ground running, several in their first races of the season as they aim to get back into form and full health. Kate Slyh crossed the line at 21:35.6 through five kilometers through Wilmington College's cammpus. Emma Scritchfield, Katie Hodson, Greta Anderson, and Ellie Teague all left their marks on the course as they crossed the finish line. For the men, Frank Metzmeier and Zack Howe checked in as Tiger representatives.
"Thrilled to see that group race hard and put up quality efforts," Penney said. "Getting Slyh on the course was huge."
The Tigers are now on the home stretch of the season, as they return to Ohio Wesleyan for a tough conference challenge in two weeks at the NCAC Championships.