2013 Cross Country
Bluffton men take 3rd at HCAC Championships
Nov. 2, 2013
DEFIANCE, Ohio - A new season started today for the men's and women's cross country teams as they opened their championship campaign at the HCAC Cross Country Championship meet hosted by Defiance College. Under cloudy, rainy skies and on a course that wound its way through woods and fields and up and down small ravines, the harriers performed in school-record style.
In the highest team finish in school history, the men placed third, behind only Manchester University and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, setting another record with three individuals among the top 13 finishers. Sophomore Colin McCloskey (Sylvania/Northview) ran a superb race to finish sixth among 122 competitors, finishing in an 8,000 meter PR time of 26:26 (5:19 per mile pace). In a battle of the freshmen, Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) eclipsed Josh Edens (Westerville/Central) by three seconds to finish 12th to Edens' 13th in 26:49 and 26:52, respectively. Fisher's time was also a PR performance. McCloskey and Fisher earned All-HCAC honors while Edens was the first finisher to be accorded Honorable Mention for his race. Rounding out the scoring five for the Beavers were senior Martin Russ (Rocky River) in 33rd and sophomore Zach Bradley (Sheffield/Brookside) in 44th position.
While the women's team finish was not as had been anticipated, there were individual performances of note. Freshman Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) earned All-HCAC distinction with her 12th place 23:40 PR performance (6:21 per mile pace) among 109 runners over the 6,000 meter course. Sophomore Tara Murphy (Westerville/Thomas Worthington) improved on her finish from last year's championship to place 19th in an Honorable Mention position, running a season's best time of 24:40. Placing third on the Beaver squad was sophomore Nichole Peterman (Killbuck/West Holmes) with another season's best performance of 26:15. Completing the scoring team was Raven Wilson (Coshocton/Riverview) in 26:22 and Megan Lefeld (St. Henry) in 27:28.
"The men's team performance was a testament to a consistent summer and season of hard training among some very young athletes," said Assistant Coach Jim Brandt. "That they could race with such poise bodes well for the future of the program." Echoing his sentiments, Head Coach Karen Brandt added, "We know the conference doesn't take the Bluffton's men's cross country program very seriously. With its history of the past half dozen years, neither would I. But I think it's fair to say our guys made a statement today. We're looking forward to seeing how they fare in the Regional meet two weeks from now."
The Beavers will be idle next week as they make final preparations for the NCAA Regional Championship meet to be contested Saturday, Nov. 16 at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.. The women's 6k championship race begins at 11 a.m. followed by the men's 8k championship race at 12:30 p.m.