By: Tami Groff, sports information assistant
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Bluffton Beavers traveled to Calvin College to compete at the Division III Great Lakes Regional Championship.
It snowed a fair amount during the week, so the 8K course was pretty muddy. Senior Connor Gulick (St. Louisville, OH/Utica) led the Beavers with a time of 26:13, good for 117th place. "Today we had a mindset coming into the race and we just relaxed and had fun," Gulick stated about this regional race. Freshman Britton Boyle (Middletown, OH/Middletown) came in second with a time of 26:52.
Senior Dakota Frost (Edgerton, OH/Hicksville) finished a few spots behind Boyle with a time of 26:56. "If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't hesitate one bit," Dakota said reflecting on all four years of his collegiate career. Freshman Max Chandler (Liberty Township, OH/Lakota East) came in fourth with a time of 27:31. Rounding out the top five was sophomore Austin Hernandez (Marion, OH/Ridgedale) with a time of 27:51. Freshman Morgan Adams (Dublin, OH/Coffman) wrapped up his inaugural season with a time of 29:34. The men's team notched a 28th place finish at Calvin on Saturday.
The ladies took off from the line next for their 6K race. Senior Alexis Cash (Gaines, MI/Lake Fenton) paced the Beavers with a time of 23:02 and 67th place finish. "We have come a long way this season. Although we may not have achieved all of our goals, we came together for one last race and gave it our all. This course was not like any other course the teams had run before," Cash stated, after seeing how the team ran well on the muddy course.
Junior Bailie Barrington (Waynesfield, OH/Waynesfield-Goshen) had an impressive race, coming in a few places behind Cash (73rd) with a time of 23:08. Barrington was ready to destroy this course with the ladies, "Instead of letting the course get to our heads, we saw it as an opportunity to take on adversity." Senior Arie Cox (Ontario, OH/Ontario) came in third for the Beavers with a time of 24:22. "I couldn't be prouder of how everyone ran and the positive attitudes we all had about the weather," Cox commented regarding how every single person had a wonderful attitude to attack the course.
Senior Tami Groff (Versailles, OH/Versailles) came in next with a finish time of 25:38. "Since I will be graduating in December, it was the best race I could have ended on. Everyone was in a wonderful mood and it made the race so much better to get through," Groff stated, reflecting on her last ever collegiate race. Rounding out the top five was junior Kimmie Hetrick (Fremont, OH/Ross) who came in a few spots behind Groff with a time of 25:50. Freshman Justine Lesniewski (Mantua, OH/Crestwood) finished her first season as a collegiate runner with a time of 27:36. The women placed 22nd as a team.
The Beavers will be back in action on Thanksgiving weekend when the indoor track and field team travels to Tiffin University for the Alumni Open which is slated for Saturday, Nov. 30.