Scots Cross Country Impresses at All-Ohio Championships

Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

The Wooster Scots men’s and women’s cross country teams raced last Friday, Sept. 16 at the All-Ohio championships meet at Cedarville College. The race took place under the lights with a start time of 8:00 p.m. The men’s team ran an 8k championship course, finishing 10th among 13 Division III programs, and placing 21st of the 29 men’s teams. Will Callender ’25 stole the show, finishing the course in 25 minutes and 27.9 seconds to earn himself All-Ohio honors for the second time in his collegiate career. Callender also accomplished this feat during last spring’s track and field season. On Monday, Sept. 19, the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) selected Callender as the Athlete of the Week for this fall’s performance. 

The rest of the men’s team also ran a strong race with Ben Nichols ’25 finishing 81st overall with a time of 26:22.7, barely missing All-Ohio honors himself. Drew Robertson ’25 rounded out the men’s top three, crossing the finish line just a few minutes later at 28:01.2, good for 214th in the individual results. Will Christopher ’25 set a personal record, finishing the course with a 33:55.2 time. 

Callender’s final time placed him 10th in the individual standings for Friday’s race. When asked about the stand-out performances, he credited the team’s work in recent practices.. “Thanks to the hill workouts we have done so far,” said Callender, “moving to an easier course with fewer hills gives us a huge advantage.” Callender also said the second All-Ohio honor was “very rewarding,” adding that, “it shows all the hard work I put in over the summer is helping the team do better.”

Robertson and Callender echoed each other when asked about how they hope to see the team improve in the future. “If we are going to be competitors,” said Robertson, “we as a team will need to fill in the gap between our top runners and the top seven,” Robertson seemed optimistic that this goal could be achieved in the future. “As a team, we had many PRs, and the first-years [stepped] up with strong times.” Callender also noted that running in a tighter pack was an area for improvement., “We have some real potential going into conference this year if we can figure out how to decrease our team’s overall spread,” said Callender.  

The women’s team finished their 5k in 12th out of 14 teams, despite missing their top two runners, Isabelle Hoover ’23 and Dylan Kretchmar ’25. The top six finishers for the women’s team all came from the sophomore class. Leading the pack on Friday for the Scots was Jessie Breth ’25 who crossed the finish line at 21:28.7, good enough for 66th place overall. Breath was followed by Igna Mendez ’25, who finished 209th individually with a time of 21:42.4). Julianna Fiori ’25 finished third for the Scots in 21:54.5 to place 224th overall. 

Breth, whose time placed her 66th among all individual women runners, spoke about the sophomore group that finished together. “We are [all] very close and we all tend to run similar times,” said Breth, “so we’re good at pushing each other and sticking together.” Fiori expressed a similar happiness with the team’s performance. “Having us all in the top six shows our motivation to strive to be better and stronger runners,” said Breth”  “I can’t wait to see where our training takes us in October and November.” 

 When asked about where they felt the team finished in the All-Ohio, Breth and Fiori expressed satisfaction as well as a desire to improve their performances. Breth acknowledged that “All-Ohio is a massive meet that isn’t just other D-III schools, and especially going into it without our top two, we didn’t expect to be a high scoring team.” Considering these challenges, Breth also said, “I think we were all pleasantly surprised with how close we finished to each other.” Fiori added that, “as long as we keep everyone healthy we will be able to see the pack grow and work as one.” Wooster’s harriers will be excited to race under the daylight after battling the conditions of a night run on Friday due to the 8:00 p.m. start. The Scots will race again on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Muskingum Invitational.

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