After two weeks of pre-season training, Kenyon cross-country competed in its first meet this past Friday. Both the men’s and women’s teams participated in the Kenyon Tri-Meet, along with Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Ohio Wesleyan University. The meet was an unscored 5K run for the men and a 4K for the women.
“It was a very good start and we’re very happy with it,” Head Coach Duane Gomez said. “Our goal was to try and run a team race as much as possible, people running in training groups, staying together. … Everyone ran a really good effort.”
On the men’s side, Sam Lagasse ’16 finished first out of 34 with a time of 15:37.2, followed by Nat Fox ’16 in fourth place with a time of 16:40.4. Additionally, Jackson Pine ’17 and Andres Herrera ’16 finished nearly together in 14th and 15th places, with respective times of 17:50.7 and 17:51.2.
“Both groups ran very smart races, they ran in groups quite a bit, they paced themselves quite a bit,” Gomez said.
The women’s cross- country team also had success, and sweeping up the top four spots out of the 39 runners. First was Molly Hunt ’18, who finished with a time of 15:28.7. Susannah Davies ’18 followed and finished at 15:30.3. Not far behind, Abby Arace ’16 and Mollie O’Leary ‘17 crossed the finish line with times of 15:36.1 and 15:41.0. Additionally, Samantha White ’16, Claire Naughton ’17, Cece Dye ’18 and Madeline Frank ’18 claimed sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth places.
“I think the Tri-Meet is always very casual, because going into it it’s always a good two hard weeks of preseason, and people tend to be a little tired,” Lagasse said. “So, there’s never any real pressure, but what Coach Gomez wanted us to do was team running, and running hard, and going out there and doing our best.”
The cross-country program enters this season with youthful teams, especially the Ladies, who lost four of their top five scoring runners last year.
“I know that this year especially we’re a young team,” Lagasse said. “I think all our top runners are juniors. It’s difficult to say right now how that’ll play out towards the end of the season. But I think that it’ll be a growing year for us, and we’ll try to work with what we have.”
“We have a real nice group of freshmen, sophomores [on the women’s team], and some upperclassmen who are really good leaders,” Gomez said. “[B]ut the women are pretty young and the guys are more veteran.”
The team runs next in Delaware, Ohio at the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational.
“The meet at Delaware is huge; it’ll be 12 teams, and it’s going to be a very competitive race,” Gomez said.
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