Oberlin Dominates at Kenyon Meet
The College’s cross country teams traveled to Gambier, Ohio, for the North Coast Athletic Conference Preview cross country meet last weekend. Both teams showed impressive performances on the course that will host the 2015 NCAC Cross Country Championships.
The Yeowomen placed second behind the University of Mount Union, racking up 51 points overall to UMU’s 61. This commanding performance was lead by senior Sarel Loewus, who dominated the five-kilometer course with a time of 18 minutes and 58 seconds. This race also earned her NCAC Runner of the Week honors. Loewus crossed the finish line shortly before senior Sarah Urso, who came in at 19:20 and finished fifth overall in the women’s race. Junior Emily Curley, finishing in 11th place with 19:55, sophomore Peyton Boughton, securing 20th place at 20:22, and first-year Vanessa LoChirco in 24th place at 20:33 also crowded the front of the pack.
The Yeomen had a strong showing as well, winning the meet in a blowout fashion. All five of Oberlin’s scoring runners finished with times in the top 10, including senior co-captain Geno Arthur, who outpaced the rest of the competition by over 30 seconds with a time of 15 minutes and 37 seconds. Overall, the Yeomen scored 23 points, which amounted to 70 points ahead of the second-place finisher of the day, Denison University. This effort was helped by first-year Grant Sheely, who placed third with a time 16:12, as well as a tight pack of Oberlin runners close behind him, including junior E.J. Douglas at 16:20, senior Sam Coates-Finke at 16:21 and senior Joshua Urso at 16:21. They finished fifth, sixth and eighth place in the meet, respectively.
Head Cross Country Coach Ray Appenheimer said he is looking forward to a great season while making sure to enjoy the success of the moment. “I have been really encouraged and pleased with the way [these teams] have been performing,” he said. Both teams enjoyed significant success in their first NCAC meet, but their work for the season is just beginning. “The workouts are going to get tougher, and the competition is going to get better as we go on,” Appenheimer said.
Loewus, recognizing the difficulties of the rising stakes of competition, expressed confidence in her team’s training and focus to rise to the challenge. “The meets will be getting progressively more competitive, but there is no doubt in my mind that if we keep doing what we’re doing, and pay attention to all the details, we will be ready,” she said. The teams are welcoming many returning runners this year, displaying a wide scope of talent across the squad.
High placements from LoChirco and Sheely indicate that the team’s new recruits have a lot to contribute as well. Curley said that the team’s depth will help them in the future.“We have so many strong runners,” she said. “If we can all push to work together and move up to other teammates, I think that will really give our team an edge this year.” The focus for both teams is on staying healthy and working hard for the rest of the season. According to Douglas, both teams are dedicated to achieving their goals through personal improvement. “Personally, I could improve on staying mentally focused during the race, but I am really working to make the team better,” Douglas said.
The Yeomen and Yeowomen will be back in action this Saturday, when they travel to Rochester, NY, for the Yellow Jacket Invitational at the University of Rochester.