After weeks of training and anticipating the coming season, both Oberlin's men's and women's cross-country team finally got the chance to test their running skills against College of Wooster, last year's NCAC champions. With the temperature close to 90 degrees, Friday's scrimmage at Wooster tested the team's endurance. Although the team feels ready for any adversity they may face on the trails, the weather did pose a challenge.
While the scrimmage was not a scored event and didn't count toward the standings, it did give the Oberlin teams a chance to practice running on a course that they will see again this season.
According to men's team head coach Mike Muska the Yeowomen's times were sufficient to have defeated their opponents had this been a scoring meet. First-year Laura Feeney and junior Jenni Huelsman placed second and third in the women's meet with times of 15:21 and 15:32 respectively. Feeney lagged behind Wooster's top runner by only 17 seconds. Other Yeowomen in the top ten were first-year Lori Tuchfeld, senior captain
Medora Lytle, and senior Beth Spalding who took fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively.
"It was a good start and they're doing great," said women's head coach Roger Laushman. Lytle was happy with the scrimmage's outcome and added that team pride was probably a motivator. "We felt a strong sense of retribution after being voted as likely to make fifth place at the conference," she said.
In the men's race, sophomore Forrest Crawford paced the Yeomen with a third place finish, 46 seconds off the lead. Junior John Rogers came in seventh with senior Colin Fishwick, sophomore Hans Peterson, and first-year Mike Severino close behind finishing ninth, tenth, and eleventh.
After finishing so strong despite two runners, including key team member junior David Bevacqua, missing, the team feels that their performance was a good warm-up for the season. Rogers remains confident in the team saying,
"It's a long season and we're gonna improve," he said.
"We have a lot of new runners and raw talent," said Bevaqua. "We're going to put everything in the machine and come out with something special."
Both squads are already looking ahead to their first meet of the season this Saturday, September 11 at Ohio Northern. "It is important for the teams to learn to race well on [the Ohio Northern] course because it is the first of three times that they will run it," said Muska. Ohio Northern will host the NCAA Regionals in early November- a meet both teams have their eyes on. For now, they remain focused on the present, working on gaining experience, staying positive, and remaining close as a team.
The Yeorunners race tomorrow at Ohio Northern at 11 a.m.
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it: The men's cross country team pauses to enjoy a brief photo opportunity. (photo by Pauline Shapiro)
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 128, Number 2, September 10, 1999
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