The men’s cross country team brought their regular season to a close on Nov. 4, competing in the unscored Wooster Twilight 5K. The race, which took place on a track, included runners from the College of Wooster, Case Western Reserve University, Allegheny College and Oberlin College. All of the Owls participated in the event except for the team’s top seven runners, who will run at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday.
The first Owl to finish the race was Dylan Sibbitt ’26, who earned 13th place out of 37 runners with a time of 16:37.5. Despite facing illness twice this past season, Sibbitt said he is proud of his performance at the event and wholly enjoyed the less-competitive nature of the race compared to other competitions. “It was definitely a good completion to a first year, a challenging first year for sure,” he said. “It was an incredible atmosphere because you have your entire team there, they’re all cheering you on, every lap you pass by and there are people cheering you on.”
Second to finish for the Owls was Henry Rodrigues ’26, who earned 15th place with a time of 16:44.4. Rodrigues noted that many of the runners went into the race hoping to have a fun, low-pressure experience under the lights. The race, which took place on a track, was a novel experience for the runners, who typically run on grass, where there is more room to move freely. “When the gun goes off, we all try to get into a line and it’s all crammed and you’re fighting for spots, and it gets intense,” Rodriugues said. “Of course, all my teammates were there, they made signs and they did all the support for the team, and that definitely helped push me to run fast. And everyone’s on the infield, so it’s an enclosed environment, and so that brings the energy up a lot.”
Following the end to their regular season, both Sibbitt and Rodrigues noted that they are looking forward to next year and believe that the team is capable of reaching even more success than it did this year. “I think next year, we could really look to start continuing on a higher level and maybe start thinking about [reaching] top three within the conference,” Rodrigues said.
Sibbitt shared this sentiment. “Our ceiling as a team, I think, is very high, and we surprised a lot of people this year. We definitely exceeded expectations, and I think we’re going to continue to exceed expectations next year,” he said.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will next compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Holland, Mich. on Saturday.