2016 Cross Country
August 22, 2016
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University harriers are pumped for the 2016 campaign. With a very good summer of training and a strong influx of freshmen talent, both the women’s and men’s squads look to improve on last year’s performances as a team and individually. The Heartland Conference coaches agree that Bluffton University cross country is on the move as the poll slotted the men at 5th for 2016 while the women are tabbed to finish 2nd, the highest-ever pre-season ranking for a Beaver cross country squad!
The women posted a best-ever team finish at the 2015 HCAC conference championship with 3rd place showing. They want to improve on that position at this year’s meet. The men finished in 6th place but knew at the end of the meet that they had underperformed. They are determined to show their true potential this year.
The women’s team returns the top five scoring athletes from last year’s squad in senior (co-captain) Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontatio), junior (co-captain) Alissa Hauke (Hillsboro), junior Elaina Alpeter (Galloway/Hilliard Bradley), sophomore Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) and sophomore Devony Miller (Findlay/Liberty-Benton). Added to this accomplished group are four experienced returners and six freshmen, all of whom have their eye on cracking the varsity seven.
The men’s team brings back five of the top seven in senior co-captain Jack Fisher (Norwalk/St. Paul), junior Kris Lyons (Vickery/Margaretta), sophomore Jacob Hill (Dayton/Wayne), sophomore Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo), and sophomore Michael Lehman (West Liberty/West Liberty-Salem). Added to that quality five are three additional underclassmen and six freshmen, all of whom have their sights set on a varsity spot this season.
“As with all teams and all seasons, nothing is a given,” stated Coach Brandt. “Consistency of effort, both in training and racing, is paramount to success. Distance running, in particular, puts an exceptional premium on consistency. This group of runners seems to have the concept engrained; once that occurs many performance limitations fall by the wayside.”
The Beavers open their schedule at home in the Nature Preserve on Friday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m. in a quality field of competitors from throughout the local area. Come out and cheer them on as they kick off the season!