CROSS COUNTRY: The Home Stretch

Adam Eadens

Western’s cross country team hosted the 21st Annual Old Timers Classic Saturday at Kereiakes Park. Since the meet was not official, no team scores were tallied, but the Toppers didn’t take the race lightly.

And it showed.

For the second consecutive race, the men were led by sophomore Daniel Roberts. Roberts finished eleventh in the race, with some help from mother nature.

“I thought conditions were actually pretty good.” Roberts said. “(Friday) we came out for a warm-up just to be on the course and we almost got blown over. (Saturday) we come out here and there’s no wind.”

Although the men’s top runner, junior Enda Grandfield, is still not in peak condition after early season dehydration problems, he seemed well on his way to recovery with a 14th place finish Saturday.

“If Enda can jog in a 26:40 at Kereiakes then he’s in good shape.” Roberts added. “Kereiakes is probably the toughest course we’re going to run on all year.”

While the team awaits Grandfield’s return to top form and the potential return of junior David Altmaier, the rest of the team is looking to improve on running as a unit.

“We’ve got to improve the pack running,” junior Tony Cambron said. “Chris (Young), Greg (Threatt), J.P. (Joubert) and I need to work on running as a team.”

Young, Threatt, Joubert and Cambron finished 21st, 26th, 25th and 29th, respectively, but Young and Cambron came in almost a minute apart.

Western got its third-best performance from walk-on Kevin Dick, who finished 17th behind Roberts and Grandfield. Dick ran unattached.

Meanwhile, a team of Western alumni fared even better Saturday. Jef Scott, Peter Kimaru and Robert Pritchett finished fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively. James Scott also finished 12th for the “Old Timers.”

Western’s men run again Oct. 5 in South Bend, Ind., at Notre Dame’s home meet.


Senior Olga Cronin led a one-two-three finish for the women Saturday. Cronin won the race with a time of 17:26, edging out sophomore Cara Nichols by a quarter of a second. Junior Bonita Paul finished seconds behind them. The Western trio, however, didn’t lead the whole race.

“The (University of Kentucky) girls all went out fast, especially the first mile or so,” Cronin said.

But the Lady Topper pack picked off runners one by one, catching the leader two miles into the race, and finished the last mile out in front. Although the temperature was ideal, the high humidity affected some of the team.

“The weather was nice, but I think it can fool you,” senior Janette Pike said. “There was a lot of humidity in air.”

Pike is also student teaching while training and going to school. She finished 13th in the race and sixth on the team, behind her usual No. 4 spot.

“Being up on my feet all day, every day,” Pike added, “I’m not adjusted to that yet. Once I do, I’ll begin running a lot better.”

Pike’s position on the team was filled by freshman Aimee Wellerding, one of many runners to run a personal best time Saturday. Wellerding finished 7th.

“Aimee ran awesome,” Pike said. “She was right up there where she needed to be.”

The women will run again Oct. 12 in Greenville, S.C.

Reach Adam Eadens at [email protected]