Runners Prepare for Regionals
by Rob Smith

Even though it seems as though the cross country season just began, its end is quickly sneaking up on us. Although their feet have been held silent for the last few weeks, the Yeomen and Yeowomen runners still have racing on their minds. Right now all that these tall and lanky Obies can think about is the upcoming NCAA Great Lakes Regional event Nov. 10 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Division III regional event will include teams from the good old Buckeye state, Michigan and Indiana
The Yeowomen runners finished up the conference season Oct. 27 in Crawfordsville, Ind. At the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships, the Yeowomen tallied 89 points to finish fourth out of nine NCAC teams.
Those who turned in fine performances for the Yeowomen were junior Laura Feeney, junior Lori Tuchfeld and sophomore Julia Goeke.

Feeney’s time of 19:29 gave her a first place finish at the conference event, granting her the highest spot on first-team all-conference. Tuchfeld finish the race eighth with a time of 19:42 and Goeke was the only other Yeowomen to finish in the top 15 with her 13th place finish of 20:00. Tuchfeld and Goeke were both named to the second-team All-NCAC.
“Two of our top five runners are injured, but I still think we have a good chance of sending some girls to nationals. We are going to have a lot of fun,” sophomore Sarah Bennet said.
Said injured first-year runner Megan Radder, “It’s very frustrating not being able to run. My season started off so well and then it’s steadily declined. It’s going to be real hard watching my team run without me.”
For the men, first-year Ryan McGinnis has been one of the most consistent and successful runners for the all year. He finished the race with a time of 27:02, which was good for a ninth place finish. McGinnis earned second-team All-NCAC honors, while also being named Newcomer of the Year. Finishing fifteenth and earning honorable mention All-NCAC honors was sophomore Adam Greeney.
“We’ve been preparing for this race differently than usual. During the season we would run around 55 miles a week at our peak, now we are coming down from that to get ready for this race. We’re still very weak between our four and five guys, but I think we have a good shot with our top three runners. And I will be going to nationals,” McGinnis said.

Taking time from watching Dude Where’s My Car on cross country movie night, fifth-year captain John Rogers provided perhaps an even more optimistic view of Saturday’s meet. “It’s my last race and I really think it can be potentially my best ever. As a team, we are going to kick some ass and I feel very excited about our prospects,” Rogers said.

“I’m looking forward to just enjoying such a massively important meet and just trying to run really well. We’re facing a lot of really good teams we don’t normally see and I hope the team succeeds in standing up to these guys. I’m personally just trying to approach it as another race and run my hardest,” first-year Dan O’Brien said.

Senior Hans Petersen noted that there will be a few teams at Kalamazoo that the Yeomen owe payback to. “Next year, we could probably make it to nationals as a team, but a good cap to this season would be to beat some of the teams that beat us at conference. We know we can beat them when we are at our best,” Petersen said.
He added, “Another key thing for us to do is to just not get injured. [Sophomore Alex] Scally was having some leg trouble, so hopefully he’ll be in better condition. John had a little bit of a back spasm [at conference], so hopefully that won’t happen again. If he’s healthy he’ll be way up there.”
The Yeomen and Yeowomen will try to get their top five runners placed as high as possible in the regional meet to obtain the lowest score possible. Only the top five finishers score points for their team, but it is key for the sixth and seventh place runner to also record a good time so they can finish in front of another team’s top five runners. The scoring system works as so — the higher you finish, the lower your score. So if you finish first you get one point, if you finish 10th you get 10 points, and so on.
Said Petersen, who usually is the all-important fifth runner for the Yeomen, “My strategy is to just go out faster than I have ever before and keep it up longer. I’m hoping to expend all of my energy by the end of the race.”
The top five finishers for the Yeomen and Yeowomen will determine the outcome of the meet for all Oberlin runners. For the men this is an 8 km run, about 5 miles, and for the woman it is a 5 km (3.1 mile) race.
“I think we can finish in the middle of the pack if we run as well as we can,” McGinnis said.

However, Rogers was a little less-reserved about regionals and feels the Yeomen have an opportunity to best all of their performances so far this year. “We’re going to fly on Saturday. I want it to be a race I can remember. We’re going to run ‘til we puke. It’s going to be so shibby,” he said.

November 9
November 16

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