2003 Cross Country
By Bernin Noll
September 20, 2003
Wilmington, OH - The BlufftonCollege cross country teams ran a very competitive
Wilmington Invitational today on the campus of WilmingtonCollege. Although the women
looked tired and were unable to run the whole roster they still exhibited a good pack
time to place 5th out of 8 teams in the race. The men only fielded five runners total
but had one of the most successful days in the history of the program for this early
in the season.
The Bluffton men ended up 7th out of 9 teams, but much to the delight of Head Coach Derek Stanley. "This meet was stacked with good competition and we were running tired out there," said Coach Stanley, "this was our third speedwork of the week and it showed in the kids faces out there."
The women started off the day competing in their first 6,000m race of the year, the NCAA Championship distance at the Division III level. Leading the team with a strong performance was sophomore Jennifer Creamer (Westerville South H.S.) who used a sustained pace to move up through the competition to place 29th overall with a time of 25:49.9. Finishing second for the Beavers was Lauren Borga who showed a stronger performance from her previous race to finish 35th place in a 26:14.0. Jennifer Niedermier battled through some pain in the middle of the race to earn 38th place in a 26:28.6, Lauren Bailey continued her climb into the top five with her 27:14.7 good for 45th place, and Stephanie Welch rounded out the top five finishing 46th in a 27:23.9. Other notables for the women's team were Rachel Noirot (51st, 27:41.6), Lindsay Bryant (62nd, 29:21.8), Laurie Sanford (64th, 29:58.0), and Alicia Stanko (74th, 32:24.9).
By the time the men competed it seemed the sun was becoming a factor in the race.
The women's race was a bit slower than expected and this lead to the men's race being
a controlled effort. The front pack did not break up until the 2-mile mark, which
is not normal for Wilmington's course. The Beaver men utilized a pack effort under
a controlled pace to experience one of the best day's in the program's history. "It's
not that the men ran fast, its that they ran packed and the freshman are starting
to show that running as a team has its advantages, they ran the best freshman times
I've seen for Bluffton," said Coach Stanley.
The men were lead by junior co-captain Andy Schiefer (Wynford H.S) again who showed his growth as a runner in the race by using other runners to help his own effort. Schiefer crossed the line in 36th place overall in a time of 28:06.1. Next for the Beavers were freshman Dave Espinoza, running better than his previous performance and finishing 39th in 28:09.8 and freshman Justin Crites who worked his way through the field in the middle miles to finish 45th in a 28:27.3. Finishing up the men's team was Patrick Cooley who ran a 28:51.4 to earn 55th place and Chris Wojciechowski who had the race of his career to date completing the 8,000m course in 28:59.6 to finish 58th overall.
Full results for both races can be found at: http://www.wilmington.edu/ffmxcntry.htm
The team takes another weekend off before traveling to Chicago, IL for the Lakefront Invitational on Saturday, October 4. "I am looking forward to that meet because I feel that it will be a 'break-out' meet for us. We're hurting a little bit right now, but I plan on having the team back to normal by our next competition," said Coach Stanley.