Cross Country Shines at Meets

The Oberlin men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in their fifth race of the season last Friday at the All-Ohio Championships, hosted by Cedarville University, and at the Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University. At All-Ohio, the women’s team finished 25th of 38 teams in their race. They finished 11th of 18 Division III schools in the race, and holding their own against schools such as Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, and the University of Akron. At the Paul Short, the women were 9th of 20 teams.

Among the top finishers for the Yeowomen at the Paul Short Invitational were junior Oona Jung-Beeman, sophomore Shannon Wargo, and first-year Corrie Purcell. Jung-Beeman led the pack, finishing her 6K in 22 minutes, 30 seconds and placing 26th in the race out of over 230 runners. Purcell, a standout first-year, posted her career-best time of 22:56, good for 42nd place. Wargo, who finished just five seconds in front of Purcell, placed 41st in the championship.

“The team ran in a really unified way at Cedarville,” junior Becca Chant said. “We really stepped up, given that our top seven were competing out of state. There were great, supportive vibes all around, and a few runners had major personal accomplishments as well.”

Head Coach Ray Appenheimer is looking forward to seeing what his teams can do on their home course the next two races, as home-field advantage could play a strategic role for them.

“We’ve done a ton of our workouts on the home course and should be really confident at both the invitational on [October 14th] and the conference championships on the 28th,” Appenheimer said.

Senior Owen Mittenthal thinks running on his own course will play a big role in the conference championships, and anticipates big things from the women.

“We expect the women’s team to win the conference and qualify for the national meet,” Mittenthal said. “They look nearly as strong as the team that placed seventh at nationals my [first] year, and the team believes that a similar result is possible.”

Both Mittenthal and Appenheimer attribute success in this year’s teams to the winning culture and success of past teams. Watching the women’s team make a national run and training alongside three-time All American Geno Arthur, OC ’16, has allowed Mittenthal and others to see what it takes to secure success on and off the course.

“On the men’s end, we have looked better and better at each meet, and we’ll be looking to place within the top half of the conference,” Mittenthal said. “We are hosting the conference meet this year, which is a huge advantage knowing the course and not having to travel.”

The men had just four runners at the All-Ohio Championships, so they were not able to register a team score. First-year Christopher Bell finished with the best 8K time of the Oberlin men with a 30:11.3. Bell came in 270th place in the race, finishing behind only 118 competing Division III runners.

The other men were at the Paul Short Invitational and finished with a team score of 2:15.30 in the 8K. Junior Grant Sheely led the way, keeping a 5:15 mile pace throughout the 8K race. Sheely placed fifth overall, helping the men finish 10th of 36 teams in the invitational.

The cross country teams will be back in action at Oberlin for the Inter-Regional Rumble Oct. 14. Two weekends later, Oberlin will host the Conerence Championships Oct. 28 as the men and women look to win both races.