The College of Wooster’s men’s and women’s cross country teams took a trip up north to Grand Rapids, Mich. to compete in the Great Lakes Regional Championships on Sat- urday, Nov. 16. The women’s team did very well, finishing in 18th place led by a trio of sophomores including Isabelle Hoover ’22, Kayla Bertholf ’22, and Rachel Osterhouse ’22. The men’s team also put in a solid performance finishing in 33rd place. Both teams showed a lot of growth during the season and look forward to continuing their improvement next year.
Hoover was the stand out performer for the Fighting Scots at Regionals. She finished in 29th place overall with a time of 22 minutes and 18 seconds for a 6k race. This performance was strong enough to earn her All-Region accolades. She was ecstatic to see all of the hard work she put in both during the offseason and season pay off. Not only was she proud of her performance, but she was proud of the team’s performance as well. “The women’s team overall had a fantastic season and finished with strong races. Although we ran in rough conditions and the course was a mess, everyone had strong performances. The team’s work ethic was incredible this year and the results were obvious. As a very young team, we show a lot of potential—I am excited to see what we will accomplish in the coming years,” stated Hoover. Despite the amazing results this season Hoover claims her “goal for next year is to qualify for the National meet. I fell short this year, but hopefully with continued hard work and dedication it will be possible next fall.” Hoover and the rest of the women’s team have a bright future ahead of them and they will continue to work hard to achieve it.
For the men’s team the focus of this season was showing improvement and dedication. Future captain Noah Crane ’21 was happy to witness the team’s improvement this season and looks forward to continuing the progress next season. “We’ve had a lot of really big personal records from a lot of our run- ners this season compared to last season, some as impressive as two to three minutes faster. That type of achievement and improvement doesn’t come without putting in work every day to build yourself up and break through those barriers,” expressed Crane. Bonding with teammates and improving during the season are the most rewarding parts of any sport and the cross country team achieved both of these tasks this season. Crane declared “my favorite moment of the season was our annual 5k Under the Lights meet in November. It was such an enthusiastic and positive atmosphere with all of your teammates cheering one another on. It’s something that really makes running worth it, to see how much support you can find with one another whether you have a good race or a bad race.” This race effectively embodies the men’s cross country team because it highlights the tremendous improvements made by the team alongside the incredible chemistry shared by the team.
The conditions during the race made it difficult for the runners to perform at a high level. Aedan Pettit ’20, the top finisher for the men with a time of 26 minutes and 30 seconds for an 8k race, described that “the course was incredibly muddy which made for tough running conditions because it took a lot more effort to keep up a fast pace because the mud absorbed a lot of our energy.’’ Despite the poor conditions, the Fighting Scots inspired each other to power through and give their best. This camraderie between the team was evident throughout the entire season. “My teammates help push me every day by bringing positive energy and enthusiasm. Even on days where I’m not feeling as excited to run, they keep me engaged and help me to be the best I can be,”Pettit explained. Now that the cross country season is over it is time for the runners to focus on the upcoming track season in the spring.
Pettit describes this transi- tion by stating, “Once cross country ends, everybody takes at least two weeks off of running to allow our bodies to heal from the season since we’ve been training since June. After that we start building up mileage over winter break before beginning competition in January.”
After all of the hard work both the men’s and women’s teams put in this season, these two weeks off are more than deserved.