The Wittenberg Tigers started off the 2018 Season on Friday, as they hosted the Wittenberg Invitational at the Clark County Fairgrounds. Both teams ended with a second place finish.
The Tigers started off the season with the women’s 5,000 meter race. Trine University led the pack into the first turn. The Tigers had a large pack just behind the leaders at the first mile before heading into the hilly section of the course. At the two and a half mile mark, Bultemeyer and Piekarski of Trine led the race, but Lauren Welker (‘22) of Wittenberg and Abalena Sullivan (‘22) followed closely behind.
Bultemeyer of Trine University took the Women’s 5K individual win in 19:28.5 while Welker of Wittenberg took third place in 21:06.0. Trine University narrowly beat out the Tigers to the overall win with a score of 23-34 (Lowest Score Wins). Wittenberg’s Top Five were rounded out with Elizabeth Canright (‘22), 5th, 21:09, Erika Bournival (‘21), 7th, 21:17, Annalee Lynn (‘22), 11th, 22:35, Morgan Ely (‘22), 12th, 22:46.
“It was a great way to start off the season! I was intimidated for my first collegiate race because I was unsure of how fast the pace was going to be, I think I ran a good time for the beginning of the season and my teammates really helped to push me in the end,” Canright said of her first college race.
The men’s run started off with alarge pack of Wittenberg runners following closely behind the Trine University Pack. Trine University led at the first mile mark, while Charles Rodeheffer ‘19 and Cullen Sainey ‘22 where in 5th and 6th places, respectively. At the two and a half mile mark, Trine University had an iron grip on the top 7 places, while Rodeheffer ‘19 and Sainey ‘22 held off a pack of a pack of Trine runners that followed 10 seconds behind.
Derek Miller of Trine took the Men’s 5k Individual win in 16:08.4 while the Tigers placed Sainey, 8th in 16:50.5, Rodeheffer, 9th in 17:00.4. Jersson Pachar (‘19), 16th in 17:27.4, Ryan Zimmerman (‘22), 17th in 17:36.5, and Miles Canine (‘21) , 18th in 17:43.5, rounded out the Tigers top five. Trine took the overall win with 5 points, while Wittenberg took second place with 54 points .
“Overall they did well, Individually it was a good first step, we need to address our gap and become more team concept, This will come with time, confidence, maturity and training,” wrote head coach Craig Penney in an email interview following the race.
When asked about his thoughts on the Tigers performance, adding “It’s a journey, this was a good first step, the conference is tough, but [we] hope to be sneaky good.”
Penney said of this group of freshmen, “I knew going in, we had [a] talented [group], I recruited a strong group in the classroom and on the course. I am very confident in the group and how they have blended into the whole culture of the program.”