Running against some of the best college competition in the state of Ohio, the John Carroll University women’s cross country squad did much more than hold its own.
Taking part in the All-Ohio Championships on Friday, Oct. 4 in Cedarville, Ohio, the Blue Streaks sprinted to a fifth place finish amongst Division III squads, and 12th place in the meet overall.
Guided by freshman Becky Rohwer, the Blue and Gold beat a few Division I programs, such as the University of Cincinnati (17th overall), Wright State University (22nd) and Cleveland State University (25th).
“I was most impressed with how they competed and pushed each other throughout the race,” assistant coach Kyle Basista said. “It was not ideal conditions to race, hot and humid. They didn’t make any excuses and ran tough the entire race.”
Rohwer led the charge for the Blue Streaks. The Lyndhurst, Ohio native earned a 20th place finish, running the 6K race in 24:00.32. Junior Emily Mapes was right on Rohwer’s heels, crossing the finish line just eight seconds later for a 25th place finish.
Junior Jenny Vrobel and senior Gabriella Kreuz came in close behind Mapes, capturing 27th and 30th place, respectively. Junior Bridget Hanna rounded out the team’s top five, completing the race in 24:30.33.
“I believe our one-five gap was the smallest it has been this season,” Basista said. “That was good to see. Now we just need to work on being up closer to the front of the race while maintaining that gap.”
Senior Caroline Kapela and sophomore Angie Bucci also represented the Blue Streaks, as the two crossed the line within eight hundredths of a second of each other, placing 57th and 58th, respectively.
The Blue Streaks accomplished all of this despite a number of injuries to members of the squad. But the Blue and Gold have handled the adversity well. Though the performance was not the squad’s best of the season, many of the team’s members were proud of the overall effort.
“Everybody approached it with a good attitude even though many of us were banged up,” Kreuz said. “It helped the team morale and helped us place fifth in spite of it all.”
With two weeks before their next meet on Oct. 19, the Blue Streaks will have an opportunity to rest and recover from their injuries. The squad will have to do so in order to accomplish its goal of capturing first place in the Ohio Athletic Championships on Nov. 2.
“I think it’s going to be all about putting the pieces together at the same time,” Kreuz said. “This team can do some damage when we run in tight packs on fresh legs.”