The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagle cross country gets off and running at the Mike Baumer XC Classic

The Eagles kicked off the season with meet held in Dayton
AU Athletics
The Eagles competed in its first cross country meet of the 2023-24 season.

The Ashland University men’s and women’s cross country teams started their 2023 fall season at the Mike Baumer XC Classic, which was held at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

The women’s team finished 6th place out of 10 teams while the men’s team finished 10th out of 15 teams at a meet filled with Division 1 athletes.

“It was really good. The meet opener is always hit or miss with performances, but this year, the men averaged about 30 seconds faster than they did last year at the same meet, and the women actually averaged a minute faster than they did a year previously. So it was good. Great opener,” said Head Cross Country Coach Jacob Sussman.

Many of the Eagle women had PRs in this meet, led by Senior McKenna Woodruff with a 19:30.7 and fifth-year Cassandra Ponzi finishing at a time of 19:34.1.

For the men, sophomore Braeden Geist placed 47th with a 15:39.8 while freshman Huck Finnegan finished 49th with a time of 15:41.0. The Ohio State University won both the men’s and women’s team titles, with 36 and 23 points respectively. Runners up for the women were a tie between Oakland and Dayton at 68 points, while IUPUI finished with the silver medal for the men with 38 points.

Despite many positive performances at this meet, Sussman said it wasn’t perfect and the team still needed to clean up some things. 

“We are focusing really big on pack running, which they did a great job at our first meet, but we are looking to continue that,” he said. “For both teams, the men will go from a 5K to an 8K for the rest of the season, and the women will go from 5K to 6K, so it’s just mentally getting ready for those longer distances.”

He also took some time to discuss what his goals are for the team the rest of the 2023-24 season. 

“The teams I sat down with, both men and women, we mapped out our year and what we want to do with cross country, and they both came up with similar goals,” he said. “For both of them, their main team goal is to compete at the conference level and get top 5 at the conference championship meet.”

Both the women’s and men’s teams will continue their season this coming Friday, Sept. 15, at the All Ohio XC Challenge, which will be held at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All AU Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *