March 1, 2024

Men’s and women’s cross country raced Saturday at the All-Ohio Cross Country Invitational at Cedarville University. The men finished 15th in Division III with a score of 425 with and an overall result of 28th with 876. The women finished 13th in Division III with 337 and finished overall 25th with 725 points.

Men’s Championship Race

The men tackled the varying terrain and high temperatures at the Elvin R. King Cross Country Course Saturday for the Men’s 8K Championship race. The Tigers finished 15th in the Division III category, led by Ryan Zimmerman (’22) in 48th, 28:02.9, followed by Cullen Sainey (’22) in 73th, 28:46.1, Evan Cordle (’23) in 107th place, 30:02.7, Andrew Reese (’22) in 115th place, 30:34.5 and the last Tiger scorer was Caden Zellner (’23) in 132th, 32:21.1.

“The high temperatures were a tough aspect to handle with for this race. It’s always mentally tough preparing for warm races. The way our team thought of it was that everyone in the field is going through the same thing, just go out and compete to the fullest,” Zimmerman said regarding race time temperatures which approached 90 degrees at the start.

“I try not to think about the weather conditions because everybody is dealing the same thing. Of course, the times are going to be slower because of the heat, but we still have to compete no matter what,” Reese said.

Women’s Championship Race

The women tried their hand at the challenging conditions soon after the men for the Women’s 6K Championship race. The Tigers finished 13th in Division III and were led by Alexis Gray (’20) in 32th, 24:37.0; followed by Elizabeth Canright (’22) in 59th, 25:24.7, Canright was followed by Lauren Welker (’22) in 82th, 26:34.8. Erika Bournival (’21) followed Welker for 95th, 27:25.9. Wittenberg’s scoring finishers were rounded out by Caroline Arndt (’23) in 105th, 28:09.8.

“The high temperatures definitely were challenging but I just tried to do my best and not get out too hard,” Canright said, “I knew this race had some pretty fast schools and I didn’t want to end up getting tricked into going way faster than I’m used to running,” The temperature approached 85 degrees at the start of the women’s race.

The Tigers raced against athletes from Division I and II, at the All-Ohio Championship.

“Racing against the DI and DII athletes is fun yet nerve racking. it’s fun in the way that racing against some of the best runners in the nation is exciting. it’s nerve racking because racing against those guys can really bring you down. but our team accepted the competition and just ran with it,” Zimmerman said.

“I knew that the DI and DII athletes would take the race out fast so I tried to stay conservative the first [kilometer] and since the race was big I always had someone to run with,” Canright said.

Cross country races next at the Jenna Strong Invitational at Wilmington College, Friday, Oct. 11, before heading to Oberlin College for the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble, Saturday, Oct. 19. The Tigers then face off at the NCAC Championships, Nov. 2, in Crawfordsville, IN for a chance to compete at the NCAA Regional, Nov. 16 in Grand Rapids, MI.

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