2002 Cross Country
bc cc at regionals
Bluffton College Finishes Off Best Season Ever,...Fast
LIMA, OH - Individual commitment to a group effort. This is what the sport of cross country is all about. Why a person would want to put themselves through a distance run, on a golf course, in the snow, a head wind out of the Northeast blowing at a steady 10+ mph, with a temperature in the mid 30's, and a slight down pour of drizzle, far exceeds that of normal comprehension. However, 500 collegiate runners strayed from the norm, to run with their teams, on Saturday, November 16, 2002 to run the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Cross Country Meet for their chance to go to the National meet. Both of Calvin College's men and women won the meet, qualifying to the National meet next weekend in St. Olaf, MN. Also earning honors were Mt. Union's men and Baldwin-Wallace's women.
Although the Bluffton College Cross Country teams did not have Nationals on their minds, they were thinking about running well. Despite the sloppy conditions of the course, the women and men of BC ran their best races of the year. The women ended up 20th out of 33 teams and the men were 30th.
The Bluffton women's team finished the year on a number of high notes. At the 5k in the race, Bluffton had 4 women under 21:00. Five out of the 8 women running ran personal-best times. Bluffton also had its best finish in the Regional meet in the history of the school. Leading the way to this momentous event was freshman Carrie Hudecek. Hudecek covered the 6,000m course in 24:18 to earn 72nd place out of 227 runners. MaryAnna Morgan (sophomore) followed in second for the team with a time of 24:37 good for 90th place, as well as Rachael Szydlowski who ran a 24:50 for 106th and Lauren Borga who finished with a 25:01 in 113th place. Finishing the scoring the Beavers was Jennifer Creamer with a 25:46, good for 159th. Also running was Jennifer Niedermier, 26:35, 189th; Stephanie Welch, 27:16, 198th; and Alicia Stanko, 29:50, 220th.
The men's team did not finish the race as well as they wanted to (team competition), but had some of their best performances of the year. Leading the way for the men in his last collegiate cross country meet was senior Steve Borga who just missed a personal-best with a time of 28:32, good for 152nd place out of the 219 runners. Coming in next for the Beavers was Roy Kaplan who ran a 28:50 to finish 164th, and Andy Schiefer running a 28:55 for 172nd. It was the first time all year that there were 3 men under 29:00 in the same race. Rounding out the Beaver's team was Josh Tolley who finished with a 29:13 (two seconds from his PR) in 179th, and finally, Andrew Smith, running a tough race as fifth man, came across the line in 30:36, for 205th place.
"What a fantastic way to finish off the year!," said Head Coach Derek Stanley. "The men ran so well, we're just banged up a bit. But the women really came on strong today to run the best performance out of any team I've ever coached." Stanley went on to say, "Hudecek was an animal out there, as well as Morgan, Szydlowski, and "little" Borga. Tolley was another highlight to the day. Just an overall good performance!"