SHELBYVILLE, Ind. - The Bluffton University cross country team showed toughness on a hot and humid course on Saturday afternoon at the Blue River State Park Invitational in Shelbyville, Ind.
The women took the course first for their six-kilometer excursion and battled to a fifth-place finish, led by sophomore Kimberly Hetrick (Fremont/Ross), who thrived in the conditions to place in the eighth position with a time of 25:23.7. She was followed closely by junior Alexis Cash (Gaines, Mich./Lake Fenton) with a 13th place finish and a time of 25:46.1. Seniors Tami Groff (Versailles) and Jennie Matteson (Guysville/Alexander) also garnered top 25 finishes, as Bluffton battled tightly, but fell just short against conference rivals Earlham and Manchester
The heat did not go away for the second race of the evening, as the eight-kilometer race ended with senior Jonah Eckert (Terre Haute, Ind./West Vigo) running a superb race, winding up with a tenth place finish and a time of 28:15.1. Juniors Connor Gulick (St. Louisville/Utica) and Dakota Frost (Hicksville) came in 41st and 43rd, respectively, to round out the top three for the Beavers.
The women's meet was won by Ohio Northern University, while Trine University dominated the men's race with just 22 points.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 29, when the Beavers travel to Silver Creek Metro Park for the All-Ohio Championships (2:45 PM) hosted by the University of Akron.