Sept. 28 marked the All-Ohio Cross Country Championships. This meet was a big deal, colleges and universities from across the buckeye state traveled to Cedarville to compete for glory and dominion over their rivals. All divisions compete at the same course, creating an electric atmosphere that usually brings out the best in each runner as they race alongside teammates and rivals while the roaring crowd cheers them on to victory.
This past weekend was unusually hot for late September. When the gun went off for the men’s varsity race, it was a blistering 84 degrees. Humidity was at a high, yet the Spartans soldiered on. Third-year Trey Razanauskas came through the finish line at 26:04. Razanauskas placed 15th overall, in a race that included several Division I teams. This was Razanauskas’ first race of the season, following an injury that held him out of competition until this weekend. For his efforts, Razanauskas was named UAA athlete of the week, the second CWRU runner to win that award this season.
Although the divisions competed alongside each other, the race was scored among each division, with points counting for each place within the runner’s division. Finishing second for the Spartans was fourth-year David Hall, with a time of 26:09. Hall finished eighth among Division III runners. Following Hall was second-year Spencer Weigand, who finished ninth, and first-years Jack Begley and Joe Jaster, who finished 11th and 15th respectively. The Spartan men placed fifth out of 38 teams, No. 2 among Division III teams. In the open race the Spartan men continued to demonstrate their depth by finishing first overall, with third-year Dima Blundell finishing first for CWRU with a time of 27:21.3.
The Spartan women began their race at 1:45. What cloud coverage there had been quickly dissipated, and the sun heated the temperature to an excruciating 88 degrees as the varsity runners sped through the 6k course. Again, the Spartans proved that they excel in rough conditions, placing second among the Division III teams. Leading the way for the Spartans was fourth-year Maddie Lindemann, with a time of 23:31.1. This was Lindemann’s first race of the season, following an injury that held her out of competition until this weekend. Lindemann proved that she was here to stay, finishing fourth among Division III runners. Close behind was third-year Kiera Olson, finishing ninth with a 23:44.7. Next to finish was second-year Jana Fisher, who came through the line at time 23:52, finishing 15th. Following Fisher were first-years Stephanie Wroblewski and Melissa Phung, who finished 19th and 20th with times of 24:04.0 and 24:06.4 respectively.
Now that we have had several weeks of races, the regional and national rankings are beginning to settle. Changes now represent a more accurate guess of where a team may finish in postseason competition. The Spartan men moved up to third in the XC Great Lakes Region, displacing John Carroll University. Nationally, they moved up 12 spots to a program-record 18th, due to their success at the All-Ohio Championships. The Spartan women also moved up to third in the region, displacing Baldwin Wallace University after beating them at the All-Ohio. Nationally, they moved up three spots, from 25th to 22nd.
The Spartans are back in action this weekend at the Pre-National Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky.