2012 Cross Country
Bluffton men take fifth at Otterbein
The Bluffton men took fifth out of nine teams at Otterbein Invitational
September 22, 2012
By: Bryson Hartzler, sports information assistant
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, to compete in the Otterbein Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. Over 100 athletes per gender toed the line on Saturday morning to negotiate a flooded, muddy course. Due to the condition, the women's race was altered from 6k to 5k.
The men, who raced a traditional 8k, placed 5th overall with a team score of 115, finishing slightly behind fourth place finishers Ohio Dominican with 113. The Beavers had two men finish in the top 25. A standout performance from freshman Colin McCloskey (Sylvania/Northview) resulted in a 5th place finish among collegiate runners. McCloskey posted a huge collegiate PR, finishing in 27:21.3. Fellow freshman Zachary Smith (West Unity/Hilltop) finished 11th among collegiate runners with a time of 27:31.8. Martin Russ (Rocky River) rounded out the top three in 28:25.6.
Head coach Karen Brandt was pleased with the overall performance from the men's team. "For basically a freshman team, who are new to the five-mile distance and the intensity of college racing, they showed a lot of determination and hard racing. I was very proud of these men and I see a lot of continued development in the future, we have yet to run at full strength or with everybody on their 'A' game, there is definitely more to come. I am very pleased in the way they worked together as a team."
The women finished in 11th place, led again by senior captain Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kan./Remington). Janzen crossed the line in 20:39.6 which was good for 22nd place among collegiate athletes. Tara Murphy (Westerville/Thomas Worthington) and Demi Snider (Kenton) were the next two finishers for the Beavers. Murphy finished in 21:14.0 and Snider in 22:22.1.
Coach Brandt was not completely at ease with the women's performance. "On the other hand, the ladies' youth and inexperience at the college level led to perhaps a lack of focus and a result that was beneath their capabilities.
The women will look to bounce back and the men to improve on the success next weekend at the All Ohio cross country championships held on the campus of Cedarville University (Saturday, Sept. 29). The field will include D1, D2, D3 and NAIA schools from across Ohio.