Miles Rochester, Sports Editor
The frontrunning men and women of Wooster’s cross country program took to the roads and trails of Holland, Michigan with a collective goal of competing and running their hearts out in the Great Lakes Cross Country Regional Championships. Although the brisk air and untimely snow provided an extra challenge for the runners, their resolve would end up guiding Wooster’s women to a 28th place finish, while the men managed a slightly better position, capturing 25th place.
When it came time for the women’s team to run, Isabelle Hoover ’22 was the one to watch. Hoover, a true athlete, demonstrated the importance of finding inspiration in the little things, sharing a quote by William McMicheal ‘22 that she claims has aided her personal success as a competitor: “Today, you may be an acorn. Tomorrow, you may be an oak tree.”
While most might not find significant takeaways from this quote, Hoover used the wise words of McMichael as fuel to drive her final championship race for Wooster. When all was run and done, Hoover’s legs had guided her to a 46th place finish, with a time of 22:40.8, a mere 13.7 seconds short of an All-Region placement.
Following Hoover in the top 200 contestants came Inga Mendez ’25 who improved her previous 6000-meter race time by almost two minutes, with a finish in 24:57.7 for 152nd place and Isabelle Dwyer ’25 whose time of 26:01.5 allowed for 192nd place finish.
In a final reflection of the 2022-23 cross country program, Hoover cleverly compared the season to a timeless treat saying, “this season really ran by quickly, much like the lifespan of an ice cream cone — short but sweet, and a little bit messy at times.”
Will Callender ’25, a name that frequents the men’s cross country headlines, had yet another impressive showing and in the process, the sophomore Scot added an All-Region honor to his resume. Callender improved his personal record for a championship-length time by a whopping 27.2 seconds, completing the course in almost exactly 25 minutes (25:00.7). This commendable finish was just enough to sneak Callender into a 30th place finish – a significant improvement from the year prior when he placed 111th.
Each time something went poorly, I’d just keep my head up and get back on the horse-Ben Nichols ’25
After Callender’s exit, all eyes turned to fellow classmates Ben Nichols ’25 and Drew Robertson ’25. Both men ended their season running side by side, adding a little drama to Saturday’s race. Nichols was a step ahead of Robertson one second, but their position changed with every single stride through the snow. As the finish line appeared before the Scotsmen, no one could have predicted who would break the barrier first and if not for laser technology, we might have never known. However, according to the machines, Nichols edged Robertson out by one seventh of a second, achieving a time of 26:31.1 and finishing 135th, while Robertson recorded a new personal best with a time of 26:31.8 landing him in 137th place.
In response to the trials and tribulations with which the season burdened him, Nichols inadvertently provided us with a personal definition of what it means to be gritty, saying, “there were a few times where I was knocked down in one way or another and had to get back up.” Nichols expanded on this by saying, “each time something went poorly, I’d just keep my head up and get back on the horse.”
With the season now over, join us in congratulating the members of the 22/23 cross country team for completing another sweet and messy season.