2015 Cross Country
Beavers wrap up 2015 campaign at NCAA Regionals
November 14, 2015
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University harriers ventured west to the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Championship meet. With both the men’s and women’s team being dominated by freshmen and sophomores, it was not a day to see high team placings. It was rather a day to see young runners vastly improve their times since the team raced on this same course at the pre-regional meet in late September.
Junior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) lopped 48 seconds from his September 8,000 meter time but his was not the biggest improvement among the men. That honor went to freshman Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) who improved by an outstanding one minute and eight seconds from September. Freshman Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem) took 27 seconds off his previous time while Terre Haute native and freshman, Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo), improved by 23 seconds. Both sophomores, Chris Tatom (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central) and Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta), also saw improvements in their time at 31 and 14 seconds, respectively.
The women’s squad was not to be outdone by the men and produced similar improvements. Junior Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario), finishing first for the Bluffton women, improved by one minute and nine seconds from the pre-regional 6,000 meter contest. Sophomore Elaina Alpeter (Galloway/Hilliard Bradley) also saw huge improvement with a clocking one minute and six seconds faster than her September race. But it was freshman Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko) and junior Miranda Hostettler (Glenmont/West Holmes) who were most impressive of all with faster times of one minute and 31 seconds and one minute and 29 seconds, respectively. Finally, sophomore Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro) capped off a fine season with a time that bettered her previous performance race by 33 seconds.
Head Coach Karen Brandt said of the day, “It is gratifying to see these dedicated athletes reap rewards for their hard training. With only one senior among the 14 who competed at Regionals, there is much to anticipate in the coming seasons. Many of our runners were not highly recruited but with consistent application of rigorous training, they are getting the better of more highly-touted athletes.”
Beaver cross country has much to be proud of from the 2015 campaign as it now enters an active rest phase before gearing up for the indoor track and field season which opens Saturday, Dec. 5 at Tiffin University.