2013 Cross Country
McCloskey and Edens shine at NCAA Regionals
By: Bryson Hartzler, sports information assistant
November 16, 2013
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In a continuation of their record setting ways, the Bluffton men's and women's cross country teams finished their season in style at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals Championships, hosted by Calvin College on their dedicated course.
Impressive in his freshman race last season, Colin McCloskey (Sylvania/Northview) totally eclipsed that performance by re-setting the mark for best men's regional finish in Bluffton history with 40th place in a field of 252 finishers thanks to a PR time of 26:14 over the five-mile course. Freshman Josh Edens (Westerville/Central) also exceeded McCloskey's 2012 finish; crossing the line in 57th place while clocking 26:25. Sophomore Zach Bradley (Sheffield/Brookside) closed his season with a PR of 27:42. Senior Martin Russ (Rocky River) finished fourth for the squad in 28:53 while freshman Seth Clark (Houston) rounded out the team finishers with a PR of 29:55. Despite racing with only these five men, the Beavers impressively finished ahead of all the HCAC teams they defeated at the conference championships except for Hanover which just edged out Bluffton for 22nd place.
Freshman Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) continued to lead the women's team with an 85th place finish out of 244 competitors. Hairston navigated the 6k course in 23:47. Sophomore Tara Murphy (Westerville/Thomas Worthington) was the second Beaver across the line in 24:42 with two PR performances coming in behind her, 25:35 and 26:14 from Raven Wilson (Coshocton/Riverview) and Nichole Peterman (Killbuck/West Holmes), respectively. Rounding out the scoring squad was freshman Megan Lefeld (St. Henry) in 28:08. The varsity team was completed by two freshmen, Kati O'Neill (Wapakoneta) in a new PR performance and Miranda Hostetler (Glenmont/West Holmes).
"I was very proud to coach this young group of runners today and all season", said Head Coach Karen Brandt. "We are a freshman and sophomore squad as I complete just my third cross country season at Bluffton. Our athletes have had to adjust to the increased physical, mental and emotional demands of collegiate level athletics over a longer season than they've experienced at high school. What I saw today excited me for our future. Both teams raced with pride, determination, focus and fierceness." Assistant Coach Jim Brandt added, "The team has come so far in just three seasons and we have so much more we want to accomplish. In a way, this is just the start of what we hope are better and better performances."
The Beavers indoor track and field campaign opens Friday and Saturday, December 6-7 at the University of Findlay.