XC: Women finish fourth in NCAC
Three days before election day, the women’s and men’s cross country teams competed in the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships at Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa.
“It was pretty sweet,” said sophomore Sophie Grimes, whose 50th place finish in 26:41 minutes helped the team finish fifth in the nine-team conference. The Yeowomen were only one point behind the College of Wooster.
The first finisher for the women’s team was first-year Alison Doniger, who finished in fifth place in 23:49, earning her a spot on the NCAC First Team. “[Doniger] ran the gutsiest race I’ve seen all season,” said Head Coach Ray Appenheimer. “She started the race with the lead pack and raced with the best runners in the conference. She earned the distinction of Newcomer of the Year through perseverance, guts, will and determination.”
The NCAC Second Team title was given to sophomore Ariane Burwell, whose time of 24:18 placed her at 13th overall in the conference. The third finisher for the Yeowomen was senior co-captain Shannon Morris, who finished close behind Burwell for 15th place in 24:24. Morris was named to the NCAC Third Team.
First-years Marie Barnett and Danielle Koplinka-Loehr crossed the line in 25:32 and 25:56 for 33rd place and 38th place, respectively. Junior Angela Parker finished in 40th place in 26:13, and sophomore Barrie Newberger finished 47th overall in 26:27.
Senior Sam Yarbrough slipped in the mud mid-race, and broke her knee, yet still managed to finish the race in 51st place, two seconds behind Grimes. “She finished 51 out of 96 with a broken bone. Woah. Adjectives fail me. And I’m a creative writing major,” said sophomore Travis Grout. “Nobody was as beastly as Sam Yarborough.”
First-year Anna Chernin finished in 61st place with a time of 27:13, and junior Rebecca Turnbull finished 66th in 27:37. First-year Laura Boyd held a 7:30 pace throughout the race, finishing in 27:56 for a respectable 69th place.
The Oberlin men’s cross country team did not get the fourth place finish they had hoped for but still managed a respectable eighth place out of ten.
Grout was named to NCAC First Team for his second place finish in 27:00. “[Grout’s] second place finish proves that he has arrived and will be a force to recon with in the conference, and I believe on the national scene, for years to come,” said Appenheimer.
Sophomore John Shaw was the second finisher for the men’s team, finishing in 29:02 for 33rd place. Senior co-captain Mike Pennino and sophomore Matt Ferris-Smith both turned in final times of 29:15, handing over the 36th and 37th places to the Yeomen.
“[It was a] rainy, hilly, ridiculously muddy race, and [Pennino] ends up third on the team, way ahead of all of the NCAC guys he’d been running with all season. Just smoked them all. Like a salmon,” said Grout.
Sophomore Jesse Gerstin finished in 50th place with an overall time of 29:53, and junior Robby Tinker finished in 30:09 for 54th place. Not far behind Tinker was first-year Dan Lesser for 56th place in 30:15. “Everyone ran a respectable race,” said Grout.
First-year Andrew Higgins held a 6:11 pace, earning him 64th place with his 30:41. Sophomore Thatcher Newkirk crossed the line in 31:14 for 70th place. First-year Andrew Pike finished in 31:47 for 80th place, and sophomore Ross Hollister finished in 97th place with a final time of 36:32.
After the meet, Tinker had a few words to say about the men’s team performance “The race was hilly, wet, and muddy, /Our team did kind of cruddy, /Most of us did not follow the race plan, /But Travis Grout, he was the man! /Our bodies just didn’t feel good, /We were supposed to run but we mainly stood. /Oh well. /We had a great season, we had fun, /We finished eighth instead of one. /We improved, we got strong, and we got fast /And though we were eighth we didn’t finish last.
Oberlin cross country will have their final race of the season at the NCAA
Regional Championships on Nov. 13, 2004 at Alma College in Alma, Mich.