2013 Cross Country
By: Jim Brandt, assistant cross country coach
August 7, 2013
The 2013 Bluffton University men’s cross country team hopes to build on the successes of the 2012 campaign. With four of last season’s top six runners back and a quality freshman class this should be a realizable goal. The four returnees, senior Martin Russ (Rocky River) and sophomores Zachary Smith (West Unity/Hilltop), Zach Bradley (Sheffield/Brooksode) and Colin McCloskey (Sylvania/Northview), have logged an impressive summer of training and rightfully have great aspirations. They will be joined by an accomplished freshman contingent that includes Josh Edens, Jack Fisher and Travis Siler. While obviously still a very young team, they are determined not to be taken lightly by their conference rivals. A better-than-last-year’s 5th place finish in the HCAC Championship is definitely within reach as the men shoot for one of the best team finishes in school history.
The Bluffton University women’s cross country team graduated their top runner, Alison Janzen, and a solid varsity performer, Mackenzie Mayer, last spring. Having also recently been informed of the transfer of Demi Snider to OSU due to a change of major/career direction, it would be easy to assume this will be a down year for the women, but the returnees and an enthusiastic crop of freshmen think otherwise. Tara Murphy (Westerville/Thomas Worthington), 23rd in last year’s conference championship, appears likely to lead the charge and improve on last year’s placing. Add freshmen Anna Hairston (Mansfield), Megan Lefeld (St. Henry) and Miranda Hostetler (Glenmont) and a quality season is within their grasp. Like their male counterparts, this is a young team with no juniors or seniors, but a lack of age and college running experience will likely not deter them as they strive to improve on last year’s team conference finish.