Arthur Crowned Regional Champ
The cross country team left their mark on the famous LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the regional championship this weekend, with five runners earning All-Region honors and senior Geno Arthur becoming the first individual regional champion in program history.
Head Coach Ray Appenheimer saw the Yeomen’s result as a sign of a turning point for their team. “The men’s team is looking like a better team, and they’ve finished the highest ever,” he said. “Their experience was really reflected this weekend.”
The All-Region runners — first-year Linnea Halsten, juniors E.J. Douglass and Emily Curley and seniors Sarel Loewus and Arthur — helped both the Yeomen and Yeowomen to each finish sixth in overall team standings. Though the Yeowomen are no strangers to high-powered regional performances, the Yeomen’s finish set another program record.
Douglass said that he thought the Yeomen owed their program best to their sense of focus approaching the race.
“I think each teammate was thinking something different, [but] the overall mentality could be described as focused and ready to compete,” he said.
Arthur tore through the eight-kilometer course in 25 minutes and 13.7 seconds, putting 10 seconds between himself and the second-place finisher Logan Steiner of Allegheny College — an unusually wide margin for such a competitive meet.
According to Arthur, his game plan of maintaining contact with the front runner, originally Steiner, served him well in his regional race.
“For my race, the part I was most proud of was that [Steiner] started to make his move 10 to 15 meters ahead of the pack, then I caught up with him, and I was happy with how I kept with him and moved on from there,” Arthur said.
However, despite his collection of accolades in his Oberlin career and his regional honors, Arthur made sure to emphasize that he and the Yeomen were racing with a team mentality.
“When I finished, my immediate reaction was to look back and see where everyone was, how everyone was doing,” he said. “Our biggest goal going into regionals was succeeding as a team; everyone had the mentality of ‘I’m going to score for the team and make an impact.’”
Next to cross the finish line for the Yeomen was Douglass, his time of 26:06.3 earning him a 31st-place finish. His teammates senior Joshua Urso, junior Bradley Hamilton and senior co-captain Robert Moreton made up the rest of the Yeomen’s top five finishers, finishing 36th place at 26:13.3, 56th place at 26:31.9 and 68th place at 26:48.9, respectively.
Moreton’s race came as a personal victory, as it capped off a roller coaster of a season muddled with recurring knee injuries.
“We went to Conferences, and I didn’t have nearly as good of a race as I was hoping for,” he said. “Then we went to regionals, and I had one of the best races of my life. The most exciting part of my race happened around the first mile mark. That’s when I knew, based on my position in the pack and how I was feeling, that I was going to have an amazing race.”
The competition also marked a personal achievement for Halsten, as she concluded her regional debut finishing first for the Yeowomen in 20th place, clocking in an impressive time of 22:39.6 on the women’s course. Curley and Loewus finished nearly in tandem following Halsten at 23:01.1 and 23:01.3, taking 34th and 35th place, respectively.
Curley said the location of the race contributed to the meet’s competitive atmosphere. “The atmosphere was really incredible, and the excitement was amplified by being at Terra Haute and having the opportunity to race on such a famous and historic cross country course,” she said.
The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, IN, is known for being one of the only courses in the world built specifically for cross country races.
Arthur and Head Coach Ray Appenheimer are now traveling to Winneconne, WI, for the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Arthur will compete for a national title on Saturday, Nov. 21.