On Saturday, Wittenberg’s men and women’s cross country teams participated in its first meet of the season, the Wittenberg Invitational, at Snyder Park. This annual meet is held in remembrance of Chase Gage, a former Wittenberg runner who tragically passed away in a car accident in 2015.
As the Wittenberg Invitational is the only home meet for the cross country teams, a large section of fans showed up to support SAAC’s Code Red activity including the track and field team as well as part of the soccer team. Though the day was rainy, it was perfect for running and the teams capitalized with two third place finishes.
For the women’s side, sophomore Alexis Gray came away with the individual win and a time of 20:17. Rounding out the rest of the scorers for the team were freshmen Erika Bournival at 8th, senior MacKenzie Freeman at 10th, junior Paige Narciso at 13th and freshman Cymone Horton at 19th. Both Bournival and Horton opened their Wittenberg careers with solid runs and helped propel the team to a third-place finish with 49 points. NCAC member Denison came away with the win for the women with a total team score of 33.
“In spite of the weather and not having many teams here and the bumpy course, the team itself is farther ahead than we were last year,” Kyla McGee, junior team captain, said. “We’ve gelled better, we are working together and today we just had fun.”
For the men, junior Charles Rodeheffer finished out a very tight race for the win finishing with a new personal record. Rodeheffer was fighting for first most of the race and at the end outkicked two other competitors to finish with a time of 16:14. Senior Jersson Pachar followed Rodeheffer in 12th place. Pachar ran a personal best for his college career on Saturday as well. Pachar was followed closely by freshman Miles Caine who placed 13th. Juniors Evan Schreiber, 19th, and Brad Arledge, 25th, rounded out the scoring for the Tigers. The men’s team finished with a total of 67 points as Earlham came away with the team victory.
The Tigers resume action at the Ohio-Wesleyan Invitational on September 9.