2016 Cross Country
Beavers tune up for HCAC meet at Oberlin
October 15, 2016
OBERLIN, Ohio - The Bluffton University cross country team competed in its final tune-up for the HCAC Championship to be contested in two weeks’ time. The Oberlin College Inter-Regional Rumble brings together teams from at least four of the nation’s NCAA regions for large and fast fields. While not everyone ran their “A race”, there were a number of exceptional performances turned in.
Senior Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) led the men’s varsity squad with a 25:45 finish over the 8,000 meter course but it was junior Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta) who stole Fisher’s thunder with an improved PR from just two weeks ago at the All-Ohio Championship. At that race Lyons ran 27:18 but dropped to 26:27 today. Sophomore Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) improved by 25 seconds on his PR from last year at this meet, finishing in 27:22. Freshmen Brandon Long (Bucyrus/Colonel Crawford), Connor Gulick (St. Louisville, Ohio/Utica) and Bradley Hardesty (Martinsburg/Utica), all of whom finished in the varsity seven, as well as freshmen Tyler Stimmel (North Baltimore) and Spencer Adams (Mt. Gilead/Northmor) all PR’d at the 8k distance by a whopping average of 1:30.
The women’s team also saw its share of improved performances. Sophomore Devony Miller (Findlay/Liberty-Benton) blasted her previous best of 25:04 out of the water, leading the women’s team for the first time with a 23:51 finish! Despite illness earlier in the week, senior Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) rallied from a substandard start to cross the line second for the Beavers. Freshmen Haylee Zigan (Newark/Licking Valley) and Arie Cox (Ontario) had breakthrough races, finishing in varsity positions with PR times of 25:03 and 25:18 with Katelyn Siebeneck (Ottawa/Kalida) narrowly missing the varsity seven but putting out a huge 25:21 effort. Junior Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro) finished in the fifth and final varsity scoring position at 25:04 with sophomore Tami Groff (Versailles) on her heels in a big PR 25:06.
“Oberlin presents us with a flat, fast course and this year, for the first time in a number of years, great weather conditions,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt, “so we expected a lot of PR times today. However, many of the freshmen exceeded not only our predictions, but their own. It was quite gratifying to see a lot of hard work, perseverance and patience pay off today, especially when I know there is an accumulation of tiredness and soreness in their legs. We are deeply into the season and it is a tough time, especially for freshmen who are making the adjustment to longer, more intense workouts than they have experienced in high school. We had some less than stellar races today, but overall, many of the freshmen put their wheels on, as one of them told me, and ran really well! I am confident as a program we will be trained, rested, and ready to perform at the HCAC meet in two weeks.”
Hanover College will host this year’s HCAC Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29 on their home course upon which they hosted the NCAA National Championship several years ago. Due to other events they are hosting that day, start times have recently been adjusted. The men’s 8,000 meter race will start at 11:45 a.m. followed by the women’s 6,000 meter race at 12:45 p.m.