AKRON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's cross country team made history at Silver Metro State Park as they garnered their best All-Ohio Championships finish in school history with a 10th place showing on Saturday Sept. 29!
Bluffton placed 22nd out of 38 teams competing across all divisions on Saturday, knocking off several Div. II foes, including Ashland University, the University of Findlay and Tiffin University.
The Beavers were led by junior Alexis Cash (Gaines, Michl./Lake Fenton), who also made Bluffton history as the top individual finisher in school history, crossing the line 20th in Division III with a time of 23:37.6. The time is also the 8th-fastest mark in school history and her best time of 2018. Cash was followed closely by senior Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) who placed 39th with a time of 24:00.1.
The key to Bluffton's team success came with the back half of the team, as runners three, four, and five all placed within 11 spots of each other in the front half of the pack. Sophomore Kimberly Hetrick (Fremont/Ross) took 60th with a time of 24:38.2, while sophomore Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) and junior Arie Cox (Ontario) came away with lifetime six-kilometer personal-best times of 24:41.0 and 24:54.9 to round out the scoring five for the Beavers.
The men's team came across with their best performance of the season on Saturday as well, with multiple personal bests coming from their eight-kilometer race. Senior Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo) led the charge with a lifetime personal-best of 26:26.6, finishing 44th out of Division III competitors. Juniors Dakota Frost (Hicksville) and Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) followed Eckert through the line with top 70 finishes and times of 27:11.1 and 27:20.4, respectively, Gulick's mark being a personal best.
The Beavers hit another two weeks of tough training before returning to action at the Oberlin College Inter-Regional Rumble on Saturday, Oct. 13, with their final tune-up before the HCAC Championship meet. The women will run at 10:30 a.m. with the men to follow at 11:15 a.m.