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OU race introduces cross country season

By Alejandro Villegas
On October 16, 2013

 

Ottawa University Cross Country team held another edition of the OU

Road Race on Saturday morning, Sept. 7 at People’s Bank Field.

 

Alumni, friends and members of both of the OU women’s and men’s

cross country teams competed in this race that helps them raise money for their upcoming season.

 

Participants ran 3.1 miles in a race that started and finished on Ottawa

University’s track. Justin Gerrard, Ottawa University alumnus and current William Jewell college’s head Cross Country coach was the first one to cross the finish line with a time of 15 minutes 24 seconds. Juniors Jeo Mendez, with 15

inutes and 57 seconds, and Cole Carlson, with 16 minutes and 50

seconds, finished second and third respectively.

 

Carlson said he was expecting to have a better performance.

 

“I think the team did really well, but I didn’t have my best day,” Carlson said. “I was expecting to keep up with Jeo, but I couldn’t. I had been sick for a week and it was really hot out there. I’m glad the rest of the team did really well."

 

Mendez explained this event works both as a fundraiser and as a tool for coaches.

 

“We get money for the program and coaches also use to see in what kind of shape we are,” Mendez said.

 

Mendez also said he is excited about the team they have this year.

 

“This is probably the best team we’ve had since I got here and I think we have a pretty good shot at to win conference,” Mendez said.

 

The first woman to finish was junior Chelsea Fullerton, who crossed the finish line at 20 minutes. Freshman Hannah Jaloma, with 20 minutes and 25 seconds and freshman Jordan Calderwood with 20 minutes and 32 seconds, completed the podium.

 

Fullerton said she felt great after the race.

 

“It was definitely a pretty good way to start off the season,” Fullerton said. “My time was a little slower than I had hoped, but it was about 3 seconds faster than last year, so I can’t complain.”

 

Both teams have high expectations for this upcoming season: winning conference and representing Ottawa University in nationals.

 

“The team is doing an amazing job right now and everyone is working really hard at practices,” Fullerton said. “We looked great at the road race and I hope it is a sign of what is to come the rest of the season. I hope to win conference and qualify for nationals as we have a great shot this year.”

 

Fullerton said she would like to break 19 minutes in the 3.1-mile race, qualify for nationals again, and finish in the top 100 at the national meet.

 

Mendez said he is also focused on making it to nationals.

 

“If we can’t do it as a team, I definitively want to make it individually,” he said. “I feel great. It is the best shape I have been in coming to season. However, my principal goal is to make it to nationals as a team.”12

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