Cross country teams represent well at National Catholic Championships

September 26th, 2013

Men’s Cross Country

[By Gabriella Kreuz]

Scoring 100 points even, the John Carroll  University men’s cross country team placed third among Division III teams at the National Catholic Championships at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, Sept. 20.

The Blue Streaks’ top five point-scorers all ran blazing sub-27:00 times and finished in the top 31 (top 100 factoring in all other divisions).

For his third top-10 finish this season, junior Tadhg Karski was first in for the Blue Streaks with a personal best time of 26:09, good for seventh place among non-Division I runners.

“Notre Dame is always a fast course and the competition is high,” said Karski.  “It was the perfect storm for me to run a [personal record]. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates pushing me.”

Sophomore Patrick O’Brien finished shortly after Karski, coming in 14th with a time of 26:25. Senior Chuck Mulé crossed five spots later in 19th place (26:41). Rounding out the Blue Streaks’ top five were junior Johnny Honkala (26:57) and sophomore Drake Sulzer (26:59), who placed 29th and 31st, respectively.

Aquinas College took the team title (52 points) in the non-Division I team standings with Loras College taking runner-up honors (63).

“We were happy with the men’s finish,” head coach Dara Ford said. “Our men are coming together as a group, but we still aren’t quite racing to our full potential yet.”

Editor’s Note: The cross country team will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 4 at the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championship, hosted by Cedarville University.


Women’s Cross Country

[By Joe Ginley]

The idyllic town of South Bend, Ind. is known more for hosting Notre Dame football games than for holding collegiate cross country meets, but that was the location of the Blue and Gold’s meet on Friday, Sept. 20. The Blue Streaks certainly enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, running a solid race and finishing fourth out of 27 teams in the non-Division I field.

Competing against some of the best competition outside of Division I, the Blue Streaks ran a solid team race.

Senior Gabriella Kreuz led the pack, crossing the line in 19:08.5 for a 15th place finish. Junior Emily Mapes was only three seconds behind Kreuz, placing 16th.

After enduring some struggles at the beginning of the season, the duo is beginning to emerge as one of the most dangerous in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

“Gabriella and Emily stepped up after some complications in the beginning of the season and are beginning to return to their form from a year ago,” head coach Dara Ford said.

Junior Jenny Vrobel also accomplished a top-30 finish, claiming 28th place with a time of 19:23.8. Senior Caroline Kapela was a mere seven seconds behind Vrobel, snatching 32nd place. Freshman Becky Rohwer rounded out JCU’s point scorers, securing a spot at 44th. Junior Bridget Hanna and senior Taylor Whisler were the sixth and seventh Blue Streaks to complete the race, respectively.

“Our team really worked together to close our one-five gap [distance between the first and fifth runners],” Kreuz said. “This is going to give us great confidence heading into the All-Ohio Championships [on Friday, Oct. 4].”