Running on the hilly Kernstown Battlefield course, Saturday's Hornet Harrier gave the Eastern Mennonite University cross country runners a good challenge.
Both Royals' teams responded to the challenge and fared well in the large field of their respective races.
Sophomore Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) was the high finisher for either squad, taking ninth overall in the men's race at 19:52.9. Setting his PR, Alderfer was the top ODAC finisher in a race that included Bridgewater, Washington and Lee, Ferrum and host Shenandoah. Clay Kauffman (Broadway, Va./Broadway) finished in 20:20.7, taking 19th in the field of 193 men, as most of Royals set a PR in the first 6k of the season.
For the women, Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) stepped up as the top finisher, crossing 20th in the 5k race. She was the fourth ODAC finisher with a time of 21:06.7. Seniors Megan Good (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) and Elizabeth Nisly (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) continued their return to form after both missed time running before the season began.
The Royals have just one race left to prepare for the ODAC Championships on Nov. 2. They head to the CNU Invitational in Newport News, Va., on Oct. 12, getting a final chance to practice at championship distance (6k for the women, 8k for the men).
Hornet Harrier – 6k
EMU Men: 7th place of 20 teams (194 points)
Top Finisher: Isaac Alderfer – 9th of 193 (19:52.9-PR)
Scoring Team: Clay Kauffman – 19th (20:20.7-PR); Justice Allen – 41st (20:55.6); Nathan Yoder – 74th (21:30.2-PR); Collin Longenecker – 79th (21:39.5-PR); Jansen Miller – 89th (21:57.4-PR); Isaac Andreas – 91st (22:02.9-PR)
Others: Andrew Nord – 115th (22:45.2-PR); Caleb Hostetler – 118th (22:56.8-PR); Meckias Abera – 120th (22:58.3-PR); Seth Andreas – 122nd (23:05.5-PR); Thomas Guadalupe-Johnson – 126th (23:13.6-PR); Zach Munoz – 139th (23:43.5-PR); Charlie Thornton – 153rd (24:32.3-PR)
Hornet Harrier – 5k
EMU Women: 7th place of 17 teams (184 points)
Top Finisher: Elizabeth Miller – 20th of 143 (21:06.7)
Scoring Team: Megan Good – 29th (21:26.6); Elizabeth Nisly – 38th (21:43.9); Allison Shelly – 39th (21:45.5); Emma Hoover – 79th (23:23.9); Savannah Bontrager – 100th (25:05.9)
Coach Bob Hepler said:
Like the bullied downtrodden often portrayed in the ancient television production of "The Little Rascals," EMU Cross Country continues its ascent up the D-III hierarchy.
Today, the women's team performed admirably despite physical ailments that prevented the team's top runner (Abigail Shelly) from finishing. Shelly's teammates lead by Liz Miller, Megan Good and Elizabeth Nisly continued to show steady improvement.
The men's team were again lead by Broadway's Isaac Alderfer and Clay Kauffman. The big news for the men was the awakening of Justice Allen. Like a small grumpy bear coming out of hibernation, Justice is now part of a solid top three that hopes to propel the Royals into the upper echelon of the ODAC.