2011 Cross Country
Bluffton competes at HCAC Championships
Bluffton women take fifth at Heartland Conference championships
October 29, 2011
By: Jordan Hill, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The sunny and crisp fall temperatures made for a perfect day for cross country as Bluffton's women's and men's cross country teams competed in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Anderson University on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Manchester College won the HCAC titles for both men and women, but the Bluffton women placed 5th out of the 10 conference teams, which marks the best conference finish the Beavers have had since they took 5th in 2005. The women were just five points shy of fourth place. The Bluffton men finished in 9th place and it was the first team finish for the men in four years.
Sophomore Brandi Dominique (Wauseon) led the Bluffton women in the 6,000 meter race as she ran a lifetime personal best of 24:33 to finish in 7th place. Not only was this the best individual finish for the Bluffton women since the Beavers joined the Heartland Conference in 1999, but it also earned her All-HCAC honors for placing in the top 12. Senior Heather Smith (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) also ran a lifetime personal best of 25:20 and finished 20th, giving her HCAC Honorable Mention for placing in the top 20.
To complete the women's score, junior Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kan./Remington) finished 38th with a lifetime personal best of 26:35, sophomore Lyndsey Darrow (Pioneer/North Central) finished 51st with a time of 27:15, and junior Katy Heffner (Troy/Troy) placed 62nd with a time of 27:44. Sophomore Ashley Hiller (New Philadelphia/Tuscarawas Valley) also competed and finished with a time of 36:32.
Leading the Bluffton men's top five in the 8,000-meter race was senior Andy Chaffee (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) with a season best time of 28:40. The men's team score was completed by freshman Ryan Schadewald (Lima/Bath) with a time of 29:59, junior Chris Arnold (Fort Wayne, IN/Canterbury) with a time of 32:45, freshman Mike Gray (Ulysses, Penn./Northern Potter) with a time of 34:48, and junior Jeremy Kidder (New Carlisle/New Carlisle) with a season-best time of 35:20.
Head Coach Karen Brandt commented, "There is so much pride that comes with today. These athletes wanted something. They knew it wasn't going to be easy and they knew no one else could run their races for them. They had to execute and they had to believe. That's what they did and look at what they accomplished this season. They have so much to be proud of for themselves."
The Beavers hard work isn't over yet as they enter another training cycle to prepare for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, host by Oberlin College on November 12, 2011.