Cross country competes with nationally ranked teams

The Baldwin Wallace University women’s cross country squad is deep into their fall schedule.

In August, the team was voted second in the Ohio Athletic Conference’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

To deal with this level of expectation, coach has told us that the rankings don’t really need to matter to us, so I think we have kind of taken that to hear.

“This year, I think our team is really focused on just doing us and making sure that every time we get to the line that we are ready to compete and put forth our best efforts and to work with each other,” sophomore Molina Otte said.

“This year we do have higher goals and the rankings do definitely play a part of us achieving those goals, but we are all focused on just pushing and motivating each other and making our team the best it can be and not worrying about the other teams.”

Baldwin Wallace traveled to Williamstown, Massachusetts on September 22 to compete in the Purple Valley Classic hosted by Williams College (Mass.). In the classic, BW went up against six nationally-ranked teams.

The Jackets were shot out of a cannon to begin the race, but slowly fell victim to the stronger pace of competitors. Junior Kelly Brennan led the Jackets with a finishing time of 23 minutes and 25.9 seconds.

Towards the end of the competition, Brennan found herself in a foot race but “racing is the fun part of cross country,” she said.

“It’s where we get to put all our hard work into action, so I don’t get too nervous, I just get more excited to see what I’m capable of.”

Overall, this tournament was a “big meet” for BW because of the number of nationally ranked teams, said Brennan and “the rest of the nation is definitely taking notice.”

Head coach Joe Eby and the team will be back in action on Saturday, September 29 as the Yellow Jackets travel out to the All-Ohio-Championships at Silver Creek Metro Park Cross Country Trails in Norton, Ohio.

The team will take a week off before competing in the Inter-Regional Rumble on October 13, hosted by Oberlin College.