2011 Cross Country
Beavers finish campaign at NCAA Regionals
Bluffton wraps up storybook campaign at NCAA Regionals
November 12, 2011
By: Jordan Hill, sports information assistant
OBERLIN, Ohio - The men's and women's cross country teams capped off a storybook season with their best performance at the 2011 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, hosted by Oberlin College. Calvin College won both men's and women's titles for the 40-team region, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, while 10 out of the Bluffton University's 11 runners had career-best times.
Leading the first of the six personal records for the women was sophomore Brandi Dominique (Wauseon) who covered the 6,000 meter race in a lifetime personal best of 24:16. Senior Heather Smith (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) also ran a lifetime personal best of 24:50. Running a strong number three for Bluffton was sophomore Lyndsey Darrow (Pioneer/North Central) who ran a new career-best time of 25:25. Completing the women's score was junior Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kan./Remington) with a lifetime personal record of 25:48 and junior Katy Heffner (Troy), who ran a lifetime best of 26:45. Displacing the field for Bluffton was sophomore Ashley Hiller (New Philadelphia/Tuscarawas Valley) who ran 31:55, which is also a lifetime personal best.
Highlighting the Bluffton men's top five in the 8,000-meter race was senior Andy Chaffee (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) who ended his collegiate cross country career with a lifetime best of 27:51. Running number two for the men was freshman Ryan Schadewald (Lima/Bath) with a lifetime best of 29:05. Completing the men's score was junior Chris Arnold (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) with a career-best time of 31:26, junior Jeremy Kidder (New Carlisle) with a lifetime-best time of 33:21, and freshman Mike Gray (Ulysses, Penn./Northern Potter) with a time of 35:05.
"What we accomplished at conference two weeks ago was nothing short of amazing and today's meet was just the icing on the cake," first-year Head Coach Karen Brandt commented in awe of the men's and women's teams. " This is my 24th year of coaching and this season, with these 11 athletes, has been the most rewarding season of my coaching career. They have worked so hard this season to accomplish countless goals, from finishing with a team score to being taking seriously as athletes and as a team. Today's goal was to run personal records and today we got to see them run faster than they ever have. A perfect way to end this revolutionary season."
The NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet marks the conclusion to the 2011 cross country season. A solid foundation has been built and the coaching staff and team look forward to building on that foundation in the 2012 season.