Yeowomen First in State After Weekend Success

Tyler Sloan, Editor in Chief

The cross country teams had an extremely successful weekend at the All-Ohio Championships in Cedarville, Ohio.  Competing among over 50 teams, the men’s and women’s cross country teams earned their titles as the number one and number two teams in the state, respectively.

Senior captain Molly Martorella and sophomore Geno Arthur earned accolades for their first places finishes in the women’s varsity 6k and men’s varsity 8k races. They returned to Oberlin named All-Ohio Champions and North Coast Athletic Conference Runners of the Week.

This level of success is not new for the top-tier team, though.

“There haven’t been any surprises thus far. We are ranked eleventh nationally and we are a much better team than that. This is going to be a great team that can potentially contend for a national championship,” said Head Coach Ray Appenheimer.

The women’s team has competed at the national tournament for the last four years. Previous seasons have set the bar very high. The team finished first in its conference the last two years and placed ninth at the national tournament last fall.

Junior Kyle Neal made great strides for Yeowomen last weekend, finishing in second place in the varsity 6k race. This is her third year on the cross country team, and she said she has been happy with the progress thus far.

“We have definitely gotten better every year,” said Neal.

Despite facing adversity with injured runners, both the men and women’s teams have seen positive results from several runners. Overall, the Yeowomen placed four different runners in the top 15 at the meet; the Yeomen had five different runners place in the top 50.

Sophomore Joshua Urso competed in the men’s 8k and took 11th  place out of 143 competitors with a time of 26 minutes, 31 seconds. Urso has been an important runner for the team and believes that the Yeomen have improved greatly since last year.

“It’s a very young team and we have a very competitive region and conference. If everyone runs to their full potential and stays healthy, we definitely have a shot at going to nationals,” Urso said.

Staying healthy has been a challenge for both squads. The women’s team sustained a few injuries earlier in the season including one to Martorella, but it has been able to bounce back.

The Yeomen welcomed back sophomore Gavin Ratcliffe at the meet. The team is still waiting for a few key runners to get back to full health, but projects wins regardless.

Both teams will continue to prepare for a high stakes conference meet. The Yeomen have an extremely competitive conference with nationally ranked teams such as the Allegheny College Gators and Wabash College’s Little Giants.

According to Appenheimer, DePauw University and Kenyon College are formidable foes for the Yeowomen.

Coach Appenheimer attributes much of the teams’ success to a more experienced team this fall. With nine first-years last season there was a big adjustment period.

“On the men’s end it’s been a big step forward. We have been sophomore-dominant and finally getting a handle on things. Academic expectations are a lot different here, it takes a year to get a handle on things,” Appenheimer said.

This year, Appenheimer believes the Oberlin team will win the national championship. “This is the best team we have ever had,” he said.

The teams’ next big event is the Inter-Regional Rumble hosted by Oberlin College on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m.