Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

XC Excels at NCAC Preview Meet

Photo courtesy of Chase Sortor
Eliza Medearis hustles to a second-place finish.

This past Saturday, Oberlin cross country teams traveled to Denison University to face off against their league rivals and regional opponents in the North Coast Athletic Conference Preview Meet. 

The women’s team, led by fourth-year Eliza Medearis and third-year Sage Reddish, finished in second place with 36 points in the 6K; three runners finished inside the top 15. 

Medearis led the Yeowomen, clocking in at 25:47.80, earning her second place in the 102-runner field. 

“I’m excited to have a really solid team and, maybe, have a shot at winning the conference or at least doing better than last year,” Medearis said. “Last weekend’s meet was probably the toughest course we’ve ever run, but it was super fun and the team did great, which is giving us so much confidence going into the season.” 

Reddish crossed the line at 26:24.00 to take seventh. First-year Sophie Mateja was right on her tail, finishing at 26:38.60 to take twelfth. Additionally, third-year Camila Ciembroniewicz finished sixteenth at 26:50.90, and fourth-year Margo Lee finished two spots behind at eighteenth place with a time of 26:54.60. Second-year Amber Borofsky finished twenty-sixth at a time of 27:20.20, while third-year Caleigh Lyons finished forty-first at 28:24.90.

The defending conference champion men’s team placed third overall in the 8K, leading all NCAC schools with 128 points. 

Third-year Walter Moak was one of the fastest runners for Oberlin and was excited about how the team performed last weekend.

“The conference preview was a very encouraging start to our season,” Moak wrote in an email to the Review. “While our early positioning should have been more aggressive, the fact that no other NCAC team beat us is a great sign for our fitness. Like last year, our strength is our depth — we have about ten runners who could fill our top five spots.”

Moak explained the unique system of cross country scoring.

“Each team’s score is the sum of their first five runners’ places (e.g. 2nd, 10th, 18th, 22nd, 30th = 82 points),” Moak wrote. “Each team’s sixth and seventh runners are known as displacers; if they finish ahead of other teams’ scoring runners, they increase those teams’ scores. The team with the lowest score wins.” 

In the 172-runner field, third-years dominated Oberlin’s top times. Moak set the tone for the Yeomen, clocking in fourth overall at 28:11.00. Fellow third-year Johnny Ragsdale placed twenty-first, finishing at 29:05.50. Similarly, third-year Jonah Barber placed thirty-first, with a time of 29:21.80. Ten seconds later, second-year Liam Newman finished with a time of 29:30.10 at thirty-fifth place, and first-year Sam Moretensen clocked in at forty-sixth place with a time of 29:51.10. Five seconds later, first-year Will Gordon finished forty-seventh at 29:56.10, and third-year Danny Markey finished forty-ninth at a time of 29:58.90. 

“Denison was a very challenging course, physically but especially mentally,” Ragsdale said. “It challenged us to use our teammates and not let minor setbacks exacerbate themselves. Something to remember about distance running is that it is 95 percent mental. Heading into future meets, I think the best thing we can do is to let our experience give us confidence. If we continue to compete with smiles on our faces and have more fun on the course than our competitors, I know this team can accomplish a lot.”

Barber echoed Ragsdale’s sentiment.

“I think what this team embodies is solely focusing on enjoying the process and running together,” Barber said. “We’re not concerned about other teams or results, just purely [about] the privilege that is running with your team. I think channeling that energy will be crucial going into our future meets.”

The cross country teams face another challenge this weekend as they make the long journey to New York to compete in the University of Rochester Yellow Jacket Invitational.

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