CROSS COUNTRY: Runners have home-course advantage

Adam Eadens

Western’s cross country teams will get a rare opportunity to run at home this weekend, hosting the Old Timers Classic at Bowling Green’s Kereiakes Park.

“The home meet is always a big race,” assistant coach Rob Pritchett said. “We have support. The team gets motivated.”

While this weekend’s race is the only chance to run in front of a local crowd, the race itself will not be easy.

“(Kereiakes) is a tough course. You know you’re going to hurt,” Pritchett said. “We train there, but racing it is a different story.”

The men will run their top five from their last race, where the team finished fourth at the Belmont Invitational. While junior David Altmaier remains out with a stress fracture in his right tibia, junior Enda Grandfield looks to bounce back from dehydration problems.

“Enda is running well,” Pritchett added. “He’s going to have a good race.”

In addition to the current cross country team, a team of Western alumni will compete in the race, which starts at 10:45 a.m.


The women will use Saturday’s race to sort through their lineup, as they search for a fifth scorer.

Assistant women’s coach, Michelle Scott, says the top four runners, seniors Olga Cronin and Janette Pike, junior Bonita Paul, and sophomore Cara Nichols are running very well, but the team needs a fifth.

“Aimee (Wellerding) or Rebecca (Sanford) will probably be our No. 5,” Scott said. “But Aimee seems to have gotten a bit of turf toe this week.”

Redshirt freshmen Wellerding and Sanford both ran the Old Timers Classic last year unattached. With Wellerding possibly not at full strength, the team will look to Sanford to score in her first official collegiate race.

She’ll run with her twin sister, Rachel, who is running unattached after a long absence due to recurring leg pains.

They’ll get a break, running a 5K (3.1 miles). It’s shorter than the 6K race they’ll run the rest of the year.

“The 6K is just too grueling this early in the season,” Scott said. “Last week was just two miles.”

The women’s race will be at 10:00 a.m.

Reach Adam Eadens at [email protected]