The Kenyon cross country teams both competed in the NCAC Championship on Saturday and each finished fourth, with the men totaling 111 points and the women tallying 104. The men ran an 8k event and the women ran a 6k.
Keegan Minahan ’24 led the Owls to success with a second place finish and a time of 26:28.2. He raced neck and neck with DePauw’s Jacob Kissling who beat him by only 0.2 seconds. His stellar performance earned him a spot on the All-NCAC First Team, which includes the top seven runners in the conference. “Going into the race, I think I was ranked fourth or fifth, and then I just knew I could get a top three finish, and that was the goal,” Minahan said.
The team’s fourth-place finish was their best at this event since 2008 and was an improvement from their eighth-place finish last year. Oberlin College ultimately won the men’s event with 44 points. Joshua Breard ’26, who finished second for the Owls in 27:38.6 (17th place), noted the significance of this feat considering the steep competition and challenging terrain the runners faced. “The championship race was definitely a test of fortitude and determination,” he said. “We just really wanted to make a name for ourselves and really just show competitors that Kenyon can be dangerous.”
The womens’ team also put forward an impressive performance this past weekend at its championship meet. Wittenberg University took home first place with 39 points.
Anna Harnsberger ’23, who placed second out of 73 runners with a time of 23:48.0, led the women’s team to their fourth-place finish while also earning a spot on the All-NCAC First Team. She was followed by Alice Riley ’23, who placed ninth with a time of 24:16.4 and earned a spot on the All-NCAC Second Team. Like Breard, she noted the difficulty of the course and the rewarding experience of reaching success despite the obstacles. “Wooster has a hard course, but we were able to conquer the hills and many of us had races that we were proud of. For me, my goal was to have a fun, celebratory race and I was able to accomplish that,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.
As the season comes to a close, Harnsberger hopes to place in the top 16 at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, held Nov. 12 in Holland, Mich. in order to run at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19. Besides that, she looks forward to spending time with her teammates and making the most of the remaining opportunities for them to compete together. “Most of us go into track right after cross country, but cross country is just like a completely different kind of feeling,” she said. “We all just are like one big family and just really support each other.”
Breard also noted that the NCAA Great Lakes Regional,, will act as an opportunity for the Owls to continue to demonstrate their talent. “Making a name for ourselves and showing the whole conference that we can do really well is very important,” he said. “They’ll be looking out for us for the next three years.”