The Bluffton University cross country team will be under the direction of 'first-year' Head Coach Logan Wells when the harriers hit the course this fall. While it is Coach Wells first year at the helm for cross country, he got his feet wet with the distance runners during the 2019 track and field campaign. Wells and Kaylea Jachno, the Director of Cross Country and Track and Field, are ready to exploit their strengths when they combine forces for the 2019-20 season.
Senior Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) headlines the Bluffton women's team after back-to-back Heartland Conference championships. She was the first Beaver to win the women's title and following her second straight victory, Cash claimed the first-ever All-Region honor for the women when she placed 23rd as a junior. Senior Arie Cox (Ontario) along with juniors Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield/Waynesfield-Goshen) and Kimberly Hetrick (Fremont/Ross) are back for Bluffton, giving the Beavers an experienced core as well as four of their top five finishers from the 2018 HCAC championships. Sophomore Hope Nixon (Jamestown/Jamestown-Monroe) made huge strides during her first season at the collegiate level.
Although the men saw four seniors depart following distinguished careers at Bluffton, Dakota Frost (Edgerton/Hicksville) returns after pacing the Beavers in each of the final three races in 2018, including the HCAC championships and the NCAA Regionals. Fellow senior Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) has been a mainstay for the Beavers during his time at Bluffton while Austin Hernandez (Marion/Ridgedale) showed improvement throughout his freshman campaign.
The Beaver Dam Invite kicks off the 2019 season when Bluffton welcomes a talented field to the Nature Preserve on Saturday, Aug. 31. Cedarville hosts the All-Ohio Championships on Saturday, Sept. 28, giving the Beavers a chance to compete against the best runners in Ohio, regardless of division. The Heartland Conference championships will be staged on Sunday this year as Rose-Hulman hosts the title tilt on November 3. Two weeks later on Saturday, Nov. 16, the NCAA Regionals are slated to go off at Calvin College.