Royals Win Two Team Titles At CNU Invitational

Abigail Shelly excited crowds with her second second-place finish of the season. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Abigail Shelly excited crowds with her second second-place finish of the season. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Wanting to get in one more regulation distance race before the ODAC Championships in three weeks, the Eastern Mennonite University cross country teams ran at the CNU Invitational Saturday in Newport News, Va.

Not only did the men and women combine to set 10 new personal records, but both teams won their team title, each beating another ODAC school as well as a non-D-III team.

Abigail Shelly (Collinsville, Miss./West Lauderdale) was EMU's highest placing individual, earning second in the women's 6k, behind only a runner from D-I Hampton University. Transfer Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold) continued her acclimation with a strong finish in third, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the next runner. Elizabeth Nisly (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) and Megan Good (Harrisonburg, Va./Eastern Mennonite) were also in the top 10.

For the men, Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) was seventh overall, but fourth among the collegiate runners. Justice Allen (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) came in ninth, while the highlight was perhaps senior Collin Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va./Turnery Ashby) taking 30 seconds off his PR for an 8k.

The Royals earned the team crowns, with each team beating ODAC rival Virginia Wesleyan as well as host Christopher Newport.

Next up is the ODAC Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2. Roanoke College is hosting the run at Green Hill Park in Salem, Va.

CNU Invitational – 8k
EMU Men:
1st place of 6 teams (43 points)
Top Finisher: Isaac Alderfer – 7th of 54 (27:29.41)
Scoring Team: Justice Allen – 9th (27:36.90); Collin Longenecker – 14th (28:30.56-PR); Nathan Yoder – 16th (28:51.37); Clay Kauffman – 19th (29:08.17); Isaac Andreas – 26th (29:57.72); Thomas Guadalupe-Johnson – 28th (30:11.78-PR)

Others: Caleb Hostetler – 29th (30:22.78-PR); Meckias Abera – 31st (30:28.47-PR); Andrew Nord – 32nd (30:28.83-PR); Seth Andreas – 36th (30:58.65-PR); Zach Munoz – 42nd (32:02.78-PR); Charlie Thornton – 45th (33:04.01)

CNU Invitational – 6k
EMU Women:
1st place of 6 teams (33 points)
Top Finisher: Abigail Shelly – 2nd of 38 (24:40.16)
Scoring Team: Elizabeth Miller – 3rd (25:03.86-PR); Elizabeth Nisly – 6th (25:36.89); Megan Good – 9th (26:06.71); Allison Shelly – 13th (26:36.72-PR); Savannah Bontrager – 32nd (29:00.97-PR)

Coach Bob Hepler said:
It was a delightful day at the beach for EMU XC. Abigail Shelly led the women's team with a stellar second place run. Liz Miller and Elizabeth Nisly also scampered their way into the top ten.

On the male side Isaac Alderfer and Justice Allen dueled the entire race. It was kind of like watching two angry sea horses gently battling in the shallows. Perhaps the race of the day was turned in by EMU's third runner Collin Longenecker. Nineteen months after a major Achilles surgery, Collin PRed. There was much rejoicing. Oh yeah, and both teams won. Pretty cool!