2015 Cross Country
Bluffton tests Pre-Regional course at Rose-Hulman
September 26, 2015
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Beaver harriers ventured westward to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Great Lakes Pre-Regional Cross Country Invitational contested on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, site of multiple NCAA national and high school state championship meets.
The women initiated the proceedings with their 6,000 meter race which saw the Beavers finish in a very credible fifth place with a spread of only a minute and two seconds among the scoring five runners. Freshman Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) continued her rapid collegiate development, finishing in 20th place to lead the women. Not far off her were junior Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) and sophomore Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro). Continuing with her breakthrough running, sophomore Elaina Alpeter (Galloway/Hilliard Bradley) came home fourth for the Beavers with freshman Devony Miller (Findlay/Liberty-Benton) completing the scoring squad. Rounding out the varsity seven were freshmen Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko) and Taylor Aurand (Riley, Mich./Armada).
“We were pleasantly surprised at breakfast to read in the Terre Haute paper that the Rose-Hulman (host) women were eager to get their first look at us,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “I’m not sure they liked the view as there was a 34-point spread between us and them at the end of the race. However, we never rest on our laurels. There is much work and racing that must be done between now and the conference and regional races at the end of the season. We must continue to improve.”
The men’s team took a step forward from their frustrations of last week but are still not the team they are striving to be. Continuing to impress was freshman Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo) and sophomore Chris Tatom (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central) who finished second and fourth, respectively, for the team, both of whom displayed poise, focus and aggression throughout the 8,000 meter (5 mile) race. Junior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) is beginning to show signs of last year’s excellence, running number one for the Beavers while senior Zach Bradley (Sheffield/Brookside), third man for the team, was disappointed in his race. His workouts show much is yet to come. The scoring five was completed by freshman Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) while varsity spots six and seven were taken by freshman Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem) and sophomore Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta).
“With a very young team, the varsity seven has significant room for improvement,” said distance coach Jim Brandt. “To maximize the teams’ potential, we need to see big gains at positions one and two as well as at five. This is well within the realm of possibility by conference and regionals.”
The Beavers will compete again on Friday, Oct., 2 in the All-Ohio Championship on the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course at Cedarville University. The men’s 8,000 meter race starts at 2 p.m. followed by the women’s 6,000 meter contest at 2:45 p.m.