Halsten Heads to NCAA Championships
After recording a ninth-place finish at the Great Lakes Regional Championships last Saturday, sophomore Linnea Halsten will represent Oberlin at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, KY, tomorrow. Halsten, a Madison, WI, native, finished the 6k race in 21 minutes, 27.2 seconds to earn an at-large bid, while the women’s team ended its season finishing in sixth place among the 31-team field.
“We didn’t perform like we really wanted to; we wanted to go to nationals as a team and that just didn’t happen,” Halsten said. “It’s a long season and times don’t always consistently go down; sometimes they go up as the season drags on.”
Even though the whole team did not end up reaching their goal of making it to the NCAA Championships, Halsten had a record-breaking season and her impressive performance during regionals earned her all-region honors. This will be Halsten’s career debut at nationals, and although her team won’t be out on the course with her, she attributes her success to them.
“I think we pushed each other really well, and I’m really happy with my season,” she said. “Our team is so great at supporting each other. It’s a really great, supportive atmosphere.”
The rest of the Yeowomen filed in over a minute after Halsten, coming in as a pack with junior Sarah Urso leading with a time of 23:02.2, a career best that landed her 41st place. A trio of first-years followed her across the finish line with Oona Jung-Beeman at 23:03.1, Marija Crook at 23:05.1 and Shannon Wargo at 23:13.4.
Senior Emily Curley closed off the race, finishing in 75th place at 23:46.4 before sophomore Vanessa Lochirco clocked in at 23:58.5 for an 86th-place finish.
For the Yeomen, the season wrapped up with no runners heading to nationals. This was particularly difficult for Senior Captain EJ Douglass, who had been hoping to advance individually after a hard-fought season. Leading the Yeomen in the 8k with a time of 25:26.8 and climbing to 23rd place nationally, Douglass earned all-region honors from the NCAA.
“I was a bit disappointed to see it end earlier then planned,” Douglass said. “But looking back, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do my best this year. “
Following Douglass was a trio of first-years, Will Taylor, Julian Guerrieri and Elliott Bailey, clocking in at 27:14.3, 27:59.4 and 28:01.6, respectively.
“We had a really good start. We did really well throughout the season,” senior captain Nick Care said. “We didn’t get to run our A-team at conference or regionals this year, but we still did really well.”
Gliding in after the first-years was Care, concluding his cross country career with a time of 28:05.1. Sophomore Dylan Caban followed him, crossing the finish line at 28:27.8, while first-year Duncan Reid clocked in at 28:37.6, landing him 191st place.
Though the results weren’t desirable for the team, Douglass said he believes this season was still positive for the Yeomen.
“Overall, it went very well,” Douglass said. “It was still a team with not a lot of experience, but I think they stepped up, and there was great improvement across the board. Everyone ran really good races, and I was really proud to see that.”
After a few weeks of recovery, most members of the men and women’s cross country teams will begin training for the indoor track and field season. Both teams will race in the Case Western Reserve University Spartan Holiday Classic in Cleveland Dec. 3.