Sept. 26, 2009
ATHENS, Ohio -
On a rainy day in southeast Ohio, the Bobcats played host for the Ohio Invitational. The day was characterized by constant, steady rain from beginning until end, and the runners chose their shoe spikes accordingly. Occasional lightning delays postponed both of the events and ultimately shortened one.
When the events got underway, it was the women who ran first. Unfortunately for them, Mother Nature turned their 6k race into a 3k when lightning struck about halfway through the first course loop. Maura Bulgrin from the University of Dayton finished in first place, running a time of 10:36.41. The Ohio women ran well, with the top two runners, Kelley O'Brien (Wexford, Pa.) and Hannah Charbel (Vandalia, Oh.) finishing in 12th and 13th places, with times of 11:12.37 and 11:13.39, respectively. Not far behind them were Emily Skidmore (Athens, Oh.), Kristen Altenburger (Troy, Oh.) and Abigail Swift (Newark, Del.), who finished in 17th, 19th and 20th places.
In the team standings, Ohio finished third of seven with a score of 81 points. Ahead of the Bobcats were Dayton and Kent State, with 25 and 30 points, respectively. Behind the Green and White were Ball State (135 points), West Virginia Wesleyan (143 points), Robert Morris (160 points) and Cleveland State (172 points).
"I think the women's race may have unfolded differently had we done two 3k loops," said head coach Clay Calkins. "With that said...I think they did well with the conditions at hand. Once they get into the race, I think that all the athletes from all the teams are worried about how they're going to do in the race...they're not worried so much about the conditions."
Though the men's race was delayed by the weather, it was run to completion. John Minen of Kent State finished the 8k first with a time of 25:31.53. Aadam Soorma (North Canton, Oh.) of the Bobcats was not far behind the leader, and finished with a Bobcat best fifth place, running a 26:03.89. Finishing in ninth overall and second for the Bobcats was redshirt junior Chris Davis (Reedsville, Oh.), who clocked in at 26:48.20.
The `Cats had a great pack of six runners near the top of the standings, which really proved to bolster their team result. Dan Quarfoot (Barrington, Ill.), Cory Irwin (Canal Winchester, Oh.), Tyler Ames (Cortland, Oh.), Joey Cherico (Strongsville, Oh.), Noah Howkins (Stow, Oh.) and Matt Michno (Kettering, Oh.) ran very well for Ohio, occupying places 12-17.
"We noticed that the Virginia Tech meet was a pack race and this week was too," said Calkins. "If the pack runs great, you are going to do well. It's good because it's that way in practice too...they're training together and really doing a good job putting themselves out there with the pack training."
When all was said and done, the men's team finished in second place with 53 points. Only Kent State finished ahead of them (16 points). Behind the `Cats were West Virginia Wesleyan (97 points), Dayton (104 points) and Robert Morris (107 points).
The next event for the Bobcats is on October 2, when they travel to Delaware, Oh., for the 2009 All-Ohio Championships.