Sept. 17, 2016
Nashville, Tenn. – Both Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams knocked off top-30 teams on Saturday morning at the Commodore Classic. The women took second overall and defeated No. 19 Mississippi State and No. 26 Vanderbilt, while the men finished third overall and knocked off No. 28 Louisville.
The Scarlet and Gray took the Percy Warner Park 5K course by storm this morning. With the race initially slated to start at 11 a.m. ET, the start time was pushed back an hour due to inclement weather, but that had no effects on Ohio State’s relatively young team.
“We have a pretty young squad of women, they were all warmed up and then it got delayed an hour,” assistant coach Sara Vergote said. “On top of that, it was very wet, muddy conditions throughout the day. I thought our women handled it with a lot of maturity.”
Eastern Michigan captured the team title with 68 points and Ohio State followed with 87 points for second place.
In a field of over 260 runners, the Buckeyes put three athletes in the top 20, and an additional seven in the top 50. Transfer Sarah Kanney led the way for Ohio State and was the 13th runner to cross the finish line with a time of 17:28.4; her time was less than three seconds off of her personal best.
“Going into the race, we talked about how we needed two women in the top 15 and five in the top 30 to do what we wanted to do, and we executed that plan perfectly today,” Vergote mentioned. “For us to only have only a 14 second spread (gap between first and fifth runner) is impressive. That is what we will need as we progress onto these bigger meets.”
Abby Nichols (17:42.6) and Lainey Studebaker (17:42.8), both freshman, ran stride for stride with each other to record personal bests and place 21st and 22nd. Once Studebaker finished, that meant that the Buckeyes top five were in and the scoring was finished.
Rachel Lehnart (33rd/17:52.1/personal best), Jessica Passwater (40th/17:57.5/personal best), Rachel Weber (43rd/17:58.7), Brittany Atkinson (48th/18:02.8) and Devon Leahy (49th/18:04.4/personal best) all finished inside the top 50.