March 1, 2024

The men’s and women’s cross country teams raced in the North Coast Atlantic Conference championship race on Saturday Nov. 1.  It was a cold day in Granville, Ohio, and the track was wet from the rains of the previous night.  The race was to go on, however, and it did.
The Tigers were hoping to have a strong day, but weren’t at full capacity.  Two strong runners were out for the Tigers: Andrew Ziminski, ’15, and Stephanie Atkinson, ’18, were both out with the flu.  The loss of these runners was losing “valuable leadership and depth,” said coach Craig Penney.  Losing a senior is never easy, and Ziminski being a captain made his absence that much more noticeable.  Penney thought “the guys had a chance of moving up from last year, but losing Andrew was a big set back.”  The top finisher for the girl’s team was sophomore Erin Horde, with a time of 26 minutes and 23 seconds, 2 minutes 53 seconds behind the leader.  The first Tiger across the line for the men’s squad was sophomore Jon Osman with a time of 27 minutes and 8 seconds, 36 seconds back from the leader.  Osman was also given Honorable All Conference honors after the race.
The competition is at its finest during championships, and that was the case that day.
“I will say the conference is one of the top conference[s] from top to bottom. So we take away the efforts we put into the conference race,” Penney said.
The conference championship is all about putting forth the best effort and competing as hard as one can against the conference opponents.  The whole season builds up to this part of the year, with championship races and regional championships to get closer to the coveted national championship.
Nothing that happened that day has wavered Penney’s confidence in the team.  Both teams still have the regional championships coming up this year on Nov. 15.  That’s the race Penney is really looking forward to.
“Regionals will tell a lot about this team in two weeks,” Penney said.

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