2012 Cross Country
Bluffton harriers run well at Oberlin
Alison Janzen and Ryan Schadewald break school records at Oberlin
October 13, 2012
By: Bryson Hartzler, sports information assistant
OBERLIN, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's and women's cross country teams returned to action this week at the "Inter Regional Rumble" held on the campus of Oberlin College. The field for this invitational spanned across four NCAA regions and seven states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, and Indiana. Over 30 schools and 270 athletes per gender toed the line for the Saturday afternoon contest. The Bluffton Beavers showed their best off to this impressive field as each individual athlete running put forth a personal-best time. Two school records also fell to go along with four top ten all-time finishes.
The men started off the day with a standout performance from sophomore Ryan Schadewald (Lima/Bath). Schadewald ran 26:18.2, averaging a 5:18 minute per mile pace over 8k to break the Lee Searcy's school record (26:22) which stood since 1984. Freshman Kevin Stewart (Springfield/Emmanuel Christian Academy) also broke into the top ten all time with a 26:33.5 performance which now stands as the fifth fastest time in school history. Stewart bounced back from a serious illness that sidelined him from a week's worth of training to average a 5:21 minute pace over 8k. Martin Russ (Rocky River) rounded out this historic day, crossing the line in 27:25.9, shaving 40 seconds off of his previous personal best.
Not to be outdone, the women's race also included a new school record and several top ten finishes all time. Senior captain Alison Janzen (Whitewater, Kan./Remington) finished in 23:11.0, setting a new school record. Janzen averaged a 6:13 minute mile pace to best the previous record of 23:20 set by Sarah Humphrey in 2004. Freshman Tara Murphy (Westerville/Thomas Worthington) joins Janzen in the top ten all time in 6th place with a time of 24:14.9. Demi Snider (Kenton) rounded out the top 3 for the Beavers, finishing in 25:13.6. Snider posted a huge personal best, improving her time by a phenomenal two minutes and 11 seconds.
Head Coach Karen Brandt was extremely pleased with both teams, especially the women. "This is the breakthrough race we have been looking for. Today the women saw and believed in the benefit of hard work. They were very focused and they are very much looking forward to the conference championship in two weeks."
Coach Brandt was also pleased with the men's performance. "Outstanding performances and a great team effort, despite one man running fairly ill and another one on the sideline. Again, the team effort and camaraderie was evident and their confidence for two weeks from now is high."
Coach Brandt was especially pleased with the two school records that fell. "I am extremely proud of Alison and Ryan for breaking the school records. I am particularly happy for Ryan who broke a record that stood for 28 years. This is just the beginning!"
The Beavers will have an intense week of training leading up to the HCAC Cross Country Championships on October 27. The championship meet will be held on Bluffton's campus at the University's Nature Preserve. The men's race is set to start at 11 a.m. with the women to follow at 12 p.m.