When we last left our intrepid runners, they were teetering perilously on the brink of the postseason. Now, following a mental tune-up at the All-Ohio meet and a physical one at Wooster, the Yeorunners are juiced and ready to roll into this Saturday's NCAC conference meet.
The All-Ohio meet on October 9 featured over thirty teams from all three divisions of collegiate athletic competition. Both the men's and women's teams took eighth out of eighteen schools in the division three standings and 23rd overall. For the first time this season, junior Medora Lytle and sophomore John Rogers were not the top finishers for their respective teams. Sophomore Rebecca Grossman was the top women's finisher at twentieth in the Division III standings. Sophomore David Bevacqua edged out Rogers by one place to finish seventeenth.
At the shorter, non-scoring meet, Oberlin fell to host Wooster, but defeated John Carroll College. Rogers placed second, while first-years Hans Petersen and Seth Capron placed fifth and tenth respectively. On the women's side, Lytle placed fifth with senior Rachel Sims two seconds behind at sixth. Head coach Tom Mulligan felt that both teams "continued to establish their confidence and support one another," two points that he has stressed all season.
Mulligan has likewise stressed the importance of his teams remaining injury-free. Various injuries have cropped up during the season, including a knee injury that kept first-year Forrest Crawford from running in the All-Ohio meet. This past Monday however, there were no injuries beyond the normal sore legs and tight backs, and with a light workout schedule this week, none are expected.
As the season begins to wind down, all involved look back on their accomplishments with a certain sense of pride, and look ahead in anticipation to the NCAC championships. "We'll definitely be a contendah," Petersen said, in what proved to be the worst, and only, Brando impersonation in a long night of interviewing.
"Both teams have worked very hard this season and I expect we'll have a good meet to cap off a good season," Mulligan said. "But it is going to be a tight race in a competitive meet." The general consensus in the conference is that Denison and Kenyon will finish first and second respectively for the men. One the women's side, Kenyon, Wooster and Case Western are expected to come out on top. Oberlin's best chance lies in finishing strong against the middle of the meet.
Of course there always remains the chance, as Mulligan and several runners have previously mentioned, that one or more teams could have bad race days. And if Oberlin can place several runners closer together and higher in the standings, they could find themselves coming home with third or fourth place finishes. That would doubtless put smiles on the faces of all as Rebecca Grossman points out: "This is what we've been working for all season."
Energy certainly won't be a problem come Saturday. All the runners who could be reached agreed that the team has definitely come together, and everyone is excited. "At this point," Mulligan said, "it's really just a matter of staying focused and running the kind of races we're ready to run."
"I don't think you've seen the best of our teams yet," he added.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 7, October 30, 1998
Contact us with your comments and suggestions.