Competing for the first time in 15 days, Ashland University's men's and women's cross country teams will take part in the All-Ohio Championships at Cedarville on Saturday (Sept. 28).
Saturday's men's 8K race will start at 1 p.m., followed by the women's 6K race at 1:45 p.m.
"Basically, we have three of the top 10 ranked teams in the region on the men's side and on the women's side," said Ashland head coach Jacob Sussman. "What we learned from last race is that we are capable of competing with them. The strategy will be to fight for as many spots as they can against those teams."
At the Auto Owners Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 13, also an 8K, Ashland's men's top seven runners were:
- Senior Steven Kapes (26:07.6)
- Senior Kyle Shively (26:34.5)
- Junior Ian Johnson (27:00.1)
- Junior Nick Reimund (27:12.0)
- Junior Tyler Sievert (27:14.3)
- Junior Connor Ingram (27:33.4)
- Junior Duvan Bautista-Catalan (27:38.5)
"With Ian stepping up pretty big, that was probably his best cross country race ever," Sussman said, "and he's definitely got more to give. Booth (sophomore Cody Booth) didn't race last week. He'll be racing this week, and he should be in the top seven."
The Eagle women ran in a 6K at Michigan State, and their top seven came in this way:
- Senior Johannah Stefanek (23:53.3)
- Freshman Emma Hinkle (25:17.4)
- Junior Tracy Morgan (25:46.2)
- Freshman Hannah Ohman (25:56.4)
- Senior Haylee Zigan (26:14.2)
- Junior Makayla Wagner (27:16.2)
- Sophomore Cassandra Ponzi (28:34.4)
"She's (Johannah) the most consistent runner we have," Sussman said. "She's going to go out hard every time, and she doesn't give up. And we were missing Abby (sophomore Abby Moser) because she was sick. Our freshmen, her (Emma) and Hannah, have stepped up pretty big, and they are looking to prove themselves.
"Michigan State, this year, was the best first long race that we've had. I attribute that to running at Northwood first."
Ashland's men and women will have one more meet, the JennaStrong Fall Classic at Wilmington on Oct. 11, prior to the 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 26 at Purdue Northwest.