Flat Course, Fast Times at Rumble
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
On the flat plains of the Oberlin College cross-country course, an Inter-Regional Rumble official, sporting a yellow jacket and black pants, raised two colored flags in the final seconds before the first race.
Chants of “Lords! Lords! Lords! Confidence!” filled the air. Each team set up behind its marked box. The official’s flags dropped, and 275 runners from 32 colleges and universities sped to the first turn. The Lords’ varsity runners — 10 in total — disappeared into a sea of collegiate colors.
“When I saw [State University of New York at] Geneseo, I knew it was for real,” Nat Fox ’16 said. Fox finished 48th, leading the way as Kenyon’s quickest runner with a personal best of 25:25.40. Sam Lagasse ’16 continued his good form, finishing 69th with a personal best at 25:40.00. Jackson Cabo ’13 (26:18.00), Ulises Arbelo ’16 (26:41.10) and Bryce Raz ’14 (26:45.80) also set personal records as they rounded out Kenyon’s scoring runs.
These fast times were due, in large part, to the flat nature of the eight–kilometer course. “We’re doing a lot of hilly courses; it’s nice to get on a fast course and run fast and have a [personal record],” said Head Coach Duane Gomez. “With all the work you do, it’s nice to have something fast to show for it.”
SUNY Geneseo, ranked fifth nationally in Division III, finished first at the Men’s Inter-Regional Rumble. New York University and Allegheny College rounded out the top three. Overall, the Lords placed a solid 19th out of the 32 teams at the meet.
Last year, the Lords took 27th out of 34 in the event. Given that there were six other nationally ranked teams in this year’s Rumble, finishing one through six, the Lords had reason to feel optimistic. “The guys looked really strong today,” Gomez said of the Lords’ performance. “I would say this is the guys’ best meet.”
As for the Ladies, an already impressive season continued at the Rumble. Once again, the duo of Natalie Plick ’16 and Jenna Willett ’14 paced the Ladies, and both clocked in at exactly 22:20.00. In a field that included 30 teams and 270 runners, Plick and Willett took 26th and 27th respectively, helping the Ladies to a sixth-place finish. “The women were really strong. It wasn’t their best race of the year, but they still ran really strong,” Gomez said.
Carolyn Campbell ’14 took 51st with 22:47.70 and Elizabeth Halper ’15 followed close behind in 57th place with a time of 22:53.10. To keep all scoring runners within the top 70, Clara Heiden ’15 finished 66th with a time of 22:57.70.
Oberlin, which hosted the Rumble, won the women’s race and SUNY Geneseo came in second. Gomez was proud of the Ladies, saying, “It’s a battle out there. … Once you get out there, it’s all mental; you gotta hang on, you gotta fight off the pain, fight off fatigue and just focus on where you are at in the race.”
The Lords and Ladies are now preparing for their next challenge, The North Coast Athletic Conference Championship, which will be held at Wooster’s hilly course on Oct. 27. “It’s a great way to go into conference. Both teams feeling good. … We’ll have everyone healthy and well,” Gomez said.