Section: Sports

True to their name, Owls successful in rare nighttime race

The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the All-Ohio Collegiate Cross Country Championships in Cedarville, Ohio this past Friday. The men’s team earned 14th place out of 33 teams across Divisions I, II and III with 472 points, while the women’s team placed 19th out of 39 teams with 569 points. Amongst D-III teams, the men placed 5th, while the women placed 6th. 

Both the men’s 8k race and the women’s 5k race had large numbers of participants, with 438 runners in the men’s race and 334 runners in the women’s race. Both races were also at night, which proved to be a unique experience.

The men’s team was led by Keegan Minahan ’24, who finished in 64th overall with a time of 25:59.6, followed by Joshua Breard ’26, who earned 84th place overall, finishing in 26:17.1. 

This early in the season, the event was relatively low-stakes and mostly allowed runners the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves with racing before conference or regionals. “It really takes a second to get used to the pain of it and running through it and just finding where you’re at,” Minahan said. 

Breard said that the race helped him develop a better understanding of where he stands among others and of his goals for the season. “It was a good competitive race that measured my capabilities,” he said. “But I think there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of race strategies and becoming a stronger runner.”

Minahan also noted that he appreciated the race’s 9:10 p.m. start time, which put the runners in a position where they had to compete in the dark. “I know that course — there’s a lot of turns around the same area, so you usually can see everyone,” he said. “But by not having that and just seeing the people in front of you, it really helped you kind of focus in to help pass people and just stay locked in, because sometimes when you see other people they just get in your head.”

The women’s team also performed well, and was led by Ella Wilson ’23, who placed 63rd overall with a time of 19:19.5, and Alice Riley ’23, who earned an 83rd-place finish overall with a time of 19:37.3. 

Wilson noted that the race was significant because, with only five runners able to race, everyone’s place counted and contributed to the team’s overall place and score. “[The race] helped us show what we can do even with small numbers,” she said. “Even with a small showing we can do well.”

Riley concurred, and also acknowledged that she found that the race’s late start time made for a positive experience. “I’ve been running for many years at this point, and yet, this was the first time I have ever been given a glow stick when racing,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We’ve been having a great time this season as a team, and it was fun to get to race this past Friday.”

The cross country teams will next compete in the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational on Sept. 30 in Delaware, Ohio.

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