Yeowomen Finish Fifth at Regionals, Men Nineteenth
Though the women’s cross country team fell just shy of qualifying for nationals last Saturday at the Great Lakes NCAA Regional Championships, not all was lost as first-year Joanna Johnson advanced to the NCAA Championships on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.
The women won the NCAC conference championship last year for the first time in over 20 years, and hoped to repeat their success and secure a bid to the national meet. Although they did not achieve their high standards, they were not far off.
The women finished fifth overall in a field of 36 teams at the meet at Calvin College in Michigan, while the men managed to finish 19th out of 38 teams. Johnson had the highest place of anyone on either team, coming in ninth overall. The top 15 runners usually have a good chance of advancing to the national meet.
Next across the finish line for the Yeowmen was senior Marie Barnett in 28th place, followed by junior Nicky Ouellet (32nd), senior Alison Doniger (37th), sophomore Clara Shaw (59th), first-year Erica Grohol (99th) and first-year Julia Beebe (103rd).
The top finisher for the men, consistent with his performance all season, was junior Conor Doss. Doss finished in 60th place, which, according to Head Coach Ray Appenheimer, secured him Academic All-American standing. Fellow junior Everett Schlawin finished next for the Yeomen, crossing the finish line in 91st place. The men’s finish was rounded off by junior Ryan King (99th), first-year Albert Davila (124th), junior Corey Squire (141st), junior Collin Anderson (148th), and senior Andrew Pike (181st).
“I won’t say I’m not disappointed [about not qualifying for NCAA Championships] but I’m really proud of this group of ladies. [We] did some awesome things together this year and it just makes me that much more excited for next year,” said co-captain Ouellet. The disappointment of the women not advancing as a team is eased somewhat by the fact that three of the seven competitors for Oberlin achieved personal record times.
Ouellet was also ecstatic about Johnson’s achievement: “It’s such a big deal, I’m so excited for her!”
As well as Johnson moving on to the NCAA Championships, both Barnett and Ouellet were recognized as All-Region runners at the meet Saturday, and senior Alison Doniger fell just two places short of qualifying for All-Region.
Head Coach Appenheimer was full of praise for the trio’s performance. “They [Barnett and Ouellet] are both tough, tough competitors, but no one ran a more gutsy race than Alison.”
Asked for a captain’s take on the Regional meet and the season, junior Ryan King expressed satisfaction with the performance of the men’s team this year.
“This was by far the most competitive, ambitious, and cohesive team I have been a part of in my three years here at Oberlin. One of the greatest joys of being a captain is leading a team that spontaneously [adopts] a winning attitude,” said King.
Members of both teams look forward to cheering on Johnson as she travels to Minnesota to compete this Saturday. The women’s NCAA Championship race starts at 11 a.m.