Nov. 15, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Despite tough weather conditions, the Ohio cross country teams turned in solid performances at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional hosted by Purdue University on Saturday. The women posted a top-ten finish, tying for 10th with host Purdue, while the men’s team placed 17th.
The women were highlighted by stellar performances from First Team All-MAC honorees Kari Summers (Troy, Ohio) and Annie Beecham (Granville, Ohio). Summers, the MAC runner-up, finished fifth with a time of 21:16.3, the fourth-best 6K time in school history. Beecham, the MAC individual champion, placed seventh with the fifth-best time in school history, a 21:23.5. The juniors were the top-two MAC finishers in the race, and the closest MAC runner to them placed 20th.
Junior Jenielle Hunt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished in 76th place with a time of 22:56.9, good for third on the team. Senior Rachel Beakas (Waterville, Ohio) came in 97th in her second race of the season, running a time of 23:12.8 Freshmen Hannah Charbel (Vandalia, Ohio) and Kristen Altenburger (Troy, Ohio) placed 124th and 138th, respectively, for fourth and fifth on the team. Redshirt sophomore Abigail Swift (Newark, Del.) finished 180th to round out the runners for the Bobcats.
The Ohio women finished third of the MAC teams in the meet, as MAC Champion Miami finished sixth and Akron placed eighth. Michigan took home first place out of the 35 teams competing. Ohio also placed 10th a season ago but did not have any female runners qualify for Nationals.
The top-two teams from each regional are given an automatic bid to Nationals, along with the top-four individuals from each regional meet not on a qualifying team. The way the results stand, both Summers and Beecham are expected to qualify for the Bobcats. Ohio has not had a female runner qualify for Nationals since 1998 when All-American Jackie Conrad and Academic All-American Melissa Converse accomplished the feat.
“The girls ran a great race, and they did even better than we thought they would,” said head coach Clay Calkins. “The conditions were tough, as the weather was cold and windy, but they did a great job anyway. We posted a top-ten finish and had most-likely two girls qualify, so we couldn’t have asked for a better race than that,” Calkins added.
In the men’s 10K, Ohio was led by senior All-MAC Second Team performer Shamus Eaton (Uniontown, Ohio), who placed 21st with a time of 32:02.8. Eaton was the second-highest MAC finisher in the race, and he bettered his performance from a year ago by 50 places. Junior Todd Holbrook (Beavercreek, Ohio) was the second Bobcat to cross the finish line, coming in 89th in a time of 33:34.3. Ridge Robinson (Navarre, Ohio), also a junior, finished 98th, running the course in 33:44.1. Senior Drew Fattlar (Westlake, Ohio) placed 112th, while freshmen Joey Cherico (Strongsville, Ohio) and Tyler Cantley (Vincent, Ohio) came in 134th and 142nd, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Chris Davis (Reedsville, Ohio) rounded out the runners for the Bobcats with a 145th-place effort.
“The men were highlighted by Shamus (Eaton),” remarked coach Calkins. “He ran above his potential today and was only five seconds away from qualifying for Nationals. As a team, I think we had the ability to finish higher, but we gave an honest effort and ran hard today,” said Calkins.
As a team, the men finished 17th and were the fifth MAC team in the standings. MAC Champion Eastern Michigan finished seventh, while Wisconsin claimed first place of the 28 teams in the meet.
For complete results of the meet, visit Delta Timing Group’s web site here.
The NCAA National Championship meet will be held on Monday, Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind. A selection committee will announce the final field on Sunday, Nov. 16. Check back with OhioBobcats.com for the official word on qualifiers for Nationals.