Next Stop, Nationals

Molly Bloom, Staff Writer

As expected, the cross country teams turned out successful performances at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship Meet last weekend. Both the Yeomen and Yeowomen placed well, and the women earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships next weekend.

First-year Geno Arthur was the top Yeomen finisher, completing the 8k course 33rd with a time of 26 minutes, 6 seconds 61. His average mile was an impressive 5:15, good enough for All-Region honors.

Senior captain Matt Bernstein (97th), junior Gavin Hisner (95th), sophomore Leo Harrington (41st) and first-year Sam Coates-Fink (68th) also placed for the Yeomen. Overall, the team finished eighth in the region.

“Finishing eighth in the region as a team after being unranked was an amazing accomplishment for us,” said Bernstein. “Not only were we second among the teams who competed from our conference, but it was also our highest finish at Regionals since I’ve been at Oberlin.”

The Yeomen capped off a strong season, with great potential for next year. Many of their top finishers are underclassmen who will be returning next season.

“To have four first-year runners consistently place in the top five on a team is not something that happens very often, said Bernstein. “These guys have a ton of potential to do amazing things in the near future, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to see how they compete over the next three years.”

The Yeowomen also have the benefits of a young team. Of the seven runners who competed, five were sophomores.

“We are going to have an outstanding team for many years into the future,” said senior captain Caroline Martin, who finished 51st. “Having such strong underclassmen is something any team would wish for. I am excited to see the sophomores step up into some leadership positions next year and see where they can take this team.”

All of the Yeowomen runners placed, and sophomore Carey Lyons led the way with a second-place finish. She completed the 6k race with a time of 21:37.17 and an average mile of 5:48.

Along with Lyons, sophomores Lindsay Neal and Emma Lehmann earned All-Region honors, finishing seventh and 12th, respectively.

“It’s really awesome being part of such a strong sophomore class because we get to run with each other for our entire time at Oberlin,” said Lyons. “Training is so much more fun when you’re with such a wonderful group.”

Junior Lauren Taylor had an exceptional race and finished 38th overall with a time of 22:57.07, barely missing All-Regions by just three places.

“[Taylor] spent all of track season and most of cross country out with an injury, so it has been wonderful watching her back in action,” explained Martin. “She finished fourth for our team, which was so great to see. I am really proud of how hard she has been working and how much of a team player she is.”

Including the strong performances of sophomores Sarah Jane Kerwin (40th) and Erica Morelli (53rd), the Yeowomen finished second overall out of 33 teams, trailing Hope College by only four points.

The Yeowomen will have a chance to compete in their fourth straight NCAA National Championships this Saturday. Junior Molly Martorella, who was recently named the North Coast Athletic Conference Runner of the Year, will return to the course along with her teammates who showed such strong performances at the regional meet.

“Everyone has worked so hard and we have seen many individual improvements from last year. I am really excited to see what we can accomplish this weekend,” said Martin. “Last year we came in 15th, which is the best we have ever done. My plan is to go out there, have fun and race hard.”