This past Thursday, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the College of Wooster Invitational. Two Owls finished in the top ten for each team. The unscored meet was a successful season opener, with both incoming and returning Kenyon student-athletes leading the pack.
Interim Head Coach Kimberly Clark and volunteer Assistant Coaches Kerry Strader ’14 and Dannie Lane ’22 will guide the team this year. “I am introducing them to many concepts I learned through training triathletes to broaden their understanding of conditioning as we drive to high performance,’’ Clark wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Reflecting on the team, Clark emphasized the importance of having a supportive yet disciplined attitude, which started with a challenging first meet. “This was a really tough course to have early in the season,” she said. Nevertheless, the Owls persevered and succeeded in making their mark at the beginning of the season.
Paving the way to success for the men was Keegan Minahan ’24, who secured seventh place with a four-mile course time of 21:47.3. Joshua Breard ’26 claimed eighth place with a time of 21:48.8, one of two first years from any participating school to finish in the top 10. Breard was happy with his performance and hopes to build on it throughout the year. “We look to continue lowering the spread and work together as a team to overcome difficult courses and opponents,” he said. Next up for the Owls was Dylan Sibbit ’26, who finished in 39th place (23:14:3), Peter Bernhardt ’25 in 42nd (23:17.6) and Henry Rodrigues ’26 in 44th (23:20.1).
At the front of the pack for the Kenyon women’s team was Anna Harnsberger ’23. She completed the 4K course in 16:09.5 and placed fifth overall. Not far behind was Alice Riley ’23 in eighth place with a time of 16:16.6. “Both [looked] incredibly fit so early in the season,” Clark said.
Following the seniors was Lorien Kauffman ’24 in 53rd (18:19.7). Close behind and securing three spots for Kenyon were Jada Swearingen ’24 (18:54.1), Anna Brown ’26 (18:55.2) and Isabel Prosnitz ’26 (18:57.7). Harnsberger emphasized the need to build strong connections on the team in order to find success. “With cross country, mindset is so important and our team dynamics play a big part in this aspect.” she said. “We are all each other’s biggest supporters at meets, practices, and just day-to-day life, and this will help shape our performances at races.”
Looking to the future, Clark was very optimistic about the growth from within. “There is a tremendous amount of determination and talent on this team,” she said.
The Owls will next compete in the All-Ohio Championship at Cedarville University on Sept. 16.
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