2016 Cross Country
Fisher 11th at All-Ohio
September 30, 2016
CEDARVILLE, Ohio - A unique part of college cross county in the state of Ohio is the All-Ohio Championship. The last Friday in September virtually every college, regardless of division and affiliation, gathers at Cedarville University to race in a single race per gender. Where else in college athletics can Bluffton University compete head-to-head against Ohio State?
The Beaver harriers were not intimidated by the size or caliber of the field, nor by the rainy weather and muddy course conditions. Senior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) led Bluffton with an 11th place finish among Division III runners, 69th overall in the combined field of 287 men with a time of 26:39 over the 8,000 meter (5 mile) distance and the best-ever finish by a Bluffton harrier at the All-Ohio Championship!. Junior Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta) was not far behind Fisher, clocking 27:18. Freshman Brandon Long (Bucyrus/Colonel Crawford) continues to rapidly come to grips with the increased distance of collegiate racing, coming home as the third Beaver for the team in a credible 28:28. He was closely followed by fellow freshman Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) who is also transitioning nicely with 28:36. The scoring five for Bluffton was completed by sophomore Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo) in 29:13 while sophomore Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) and freshman Connor Gulick (St. Louisville, Ohio/Utica) rounded out the varsity seven.
The women’s squad saw freshman Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) finish first for the team in a breakthrough performance that garnered her 37th place in the Division III segment of the field in the 6000 meter (3.74 mile) race with a time of 24:14. Following closely in Cash’s wake were senior Anna Hairston in 24:26 (Mansfield/Ontario) and sophomore Jennie Matteson in 25:13 (Guysville/Alexander). As with the men, youth was not to be denied as freshmen Arie Cox (Ontario), in 25:33, and Haylee Zigan (Newark/Licking Valley), in 25:42, completed the scoring five, more than holding their own in the field of 296 finishers.
“Their youth and inexperience could have and in many cases would have freaked out a team, but our runners rose to the occasion in this pressure-filled format,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt. “Their races are a credit to their rigorous training and the growing confidence that comes with it. I am very excited to see what the reminder of the season brings.”
The team now enters an intense and valuable block of training before toeing the start at Oberlin College on Saturday, Oct. 15. Four races will be contested that day with the men’s varsity starting at 10:30 a.m. followed by the women’s varsity race at 11:15. Men’s and women’s open races will begin at 12:00 and 12:45 p.m., respectively.