2015 Cross Country
Bluffton women take 9th at Otterbein
September 19, 2015
WESTERVILLE, Ohio - The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams saw action at the Otterbein University Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 19, for once getting to race in dry, non-course flooded conditions.
Racing first were the men over the 8000 meter distance, a new experience for the freshmen who have just joined the team. Heading the men was sophomore Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul) who covered the distance in 27:43. Closing closely behind him was freshman Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo) in 27:54. Senior Zach Bradley (Sheffield/Brookside) was third across the line for the Beavers in 28:28, while the remaining scoring positions were taken by sophomore Chris Tatom (Greenfield, Ind./Greenfield Central) in 28:53 and freshman Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne) in 28:57. The varsity squad was completed by sophomore Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta) and freshman Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem).
“It was a relief not to have a flooded course like we usually do at Otterbein,” said Head Coach Karen Brandt, “but the men as a team are not pleased with their performance (13th of 17 teams) and feel they let this one get away from them. There are individuals who are happy with their efforts but as a whole the men are disappointed and look to use this as a springboard to better races.”
The woman’s 6000 meter race was started early due to a forecast of imminent rain but it did not deter the Bluffton squad. Freshman Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) got her first taste of the intensity of a bigger college field, finishing 29th of 209 in 24:18. Following her nearly in tandem were junior Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) in 24:40 and sophomore Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro) in 24:43. Sophomore Elaina Alpeter (Galloway/Hilliard Bradley) had a breakthrough performance to finish fourth for the woman, obliterating three minutes off her time last year to clock a 25:24. Completing the scorers was freshman Devoney Miller (Findlay/Liberty-Benton) in 26:18. Freshman Michelle Kelsey (South Whitley, Ind./Whitko) was the sixth runner in for the Beavers while junior Miranda Hostetler (Glenmont/West Holmes) also significantly upped her game, finishing seventh for the team.
“The time gaps amoung the top three woman are fairly tight. Runners four and five continue to improve and as the top three also move forward, we could be looking at a nicely packed scoring five by the end of the season,” said Head Coach Brandt. “We had a number of excited women in the post-race debrief as they look ahead at the possibilities that lie ahead.”
The top nine runners from each gender travel to Terre Haute, Ind. next Saturday, Sept. 26, to compete in the Pre-Regional Invitational hosted by Rose-Hulman University.