The cross-country teams headed down to Kerrville, Texas this past weekend for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. With their season on the line, both teams delivered and finished with a strong second place overall, placing six men and five women in the top 14. Led by fantastic personal performances, the Tigers looked confident as they closed out their 2018 season.
The women ran first in Kerrville, with four from CC finishing in the top 10. The strong performance earned five Tigers all-conference honors. Megan Koch ’22 led the Tigers’ squad and earned SCAC Newcomer of the Year, with a fourth place finish overall. Her teammate Leah Veldhusien ’19 finished just two seconds behind, earning SCAC all-team for the third year in a row. Underclassmen were the stars of the show, with Lily O’Dowd ’21 and Lucy Wagner ’22 finishing No. 9 and No. 11 respectively, both earning their first all-conference honors.
The men’s team also ran confidently, with three Tigers finishing in the top 10. Tony Calderon ’20 and Jack Williams ’20 finished No. 4 and No. 5 , just two seconds separating the juniors. David Eik ’19 finished No. 9, becoming one of only 21 runners to earn SCAC honors for four straight years. The underclassmen were also a factor for the men’s team, with Paul Olsen ’21 and Josh Fry ’22 finishing no. 12 and No. 13, earning all SCAC honors, and Fry himself the Newcomer of the Year Award. Olsen praised the first-years and their hard work over the season.
“I think that getting them through the past few months healthy has been crucial to our team performance during the season,” said Olsen. We have a very young team, and I think that the underclassmen know that their performance matters, and will affect the team score, which keeps them going strong.”
Adam Mahler ’20 finished No. 11 with a personal best time of 26:48, and was named the SCAC Men’s Cross Country Elite 19 winner. Every year the SCAC awards the Elite 19 to a student-athlete who has a cumulative 3.25 GPA and at least 60 credit hours. The junior currently holds a 3.80 GPA.
Both teams have two weeks of recovery before they head to the Northwest for the NCAA Division III West Region Meet. After training all year together, Olsen says the support between the men’s and women’s team motivates both squads to perform better: “Since both teams train together weekly, we’ve had months to become close with each other,” Olsen said. “The support from each team is so strong at these championship races,” said Olsen
Next up for the Tigers is the West Region Meet, which takes place in Walla Walla, Wash. on Nov. 10. If the team places 2nd or better, they will make Nationals a few weeks later.