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 Buckeyes nestled three runners in the top 20 spots on their way to knocking off No. 28 Louisville and taking third place in the 23-team competition Saturday morning at Percy Warner Park. The men, who were running their first 8K of the season, had four different runners register personal bests.
Middle Tennessee took the team title with 63 points, Georgia finished second with 81 points and the Buckeyes earned their spot with 106 points.
“Our top three finishers ran really well for us,” associate head coach Brice Allen said. “Evan (Stifel) opened very well for us and did what he needed to do. Alex (Lomong) had a very nice race, considering it was his first 8K race, and it was great to have Jake (Mandel) come in 22 seconds behind our number one runner.
“It was a great race down here at Vanderbilt, a solid team day overall, and we are really looking forward to competing at the All-Ohio Championships in two weeks.”
Stifel, a junior, was the first Buckeye to cross the finish line with a time of 24:52.1 for a 10th-place showing. Stifel covered the course with an average mile time of 5:00.2.
Lomong had an impressive display of discipline in his first career 8K race. The freshman clocked a personal best of 25:01.5 on his way to a 15th-place finish; he was the fourth-fastest freshman in the race.
Lingering not too far behind Lomong was Mandel; he finished in 17th place with a personal best time of 25:14.1. Kevin Blank (25:37.6/34th place) and Aaron Wood (25:39.7/35th place/personal best) rounded out the scoring effort for the Scarlet and Gray.