Cross Country |
Sept. 28, 2012
The University of Cincinnati men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championships on Saturday in Cedarville. The competition will take place at the Elvin R King Cross Country Course at Cedarville College.
The UC men’s team is the defending champion in the 58th running of the All-Ohio. The 8k men’s race will start at 2:45 p.m. The 32nd annual women’s 5k race will lead off the day at 2 p.m.
The Bearcats were off last weekend. Head coaches Bill Schnier and Susan Seaton both saw that as a plus for their teams as they head into All-Ohio.
“A week off in cross country tends to help, especially as the season progresses,” said Schnier. “It takes its toll to run long distance races and grass and hills, so it really helps to have a week off from competition. It also helps to be able to concentrate on training during that off week.”
“The week off allowed us to solve some injury problems and get more high-quality training sessions done,” Seaton said. “That will help later in the season.”
Injuries have been an issue for both teams this season. The men’s team has been without Oliver Book, who finished second in last year’s All-Ohio. Book, who holds two of the all-time 25 best performances on the Elvin R. King course, will miss the entire 2012 cross country season. Alison Zukowski was the top returning runner for the women’s team this year but has yet to compete in a meet due to injury.
“Our health is improving,” Schnier said. “In fact, we are better now than at any time earlier this year. We have a few freshmen women out of action but the more experienced runners are ready to go for both teams.”
“Alison is coming back from injury and we are excited to see where she how she will perform in her first meet of the season,” said Seaton. “The rest of the top seven on the women’s team are healthy.”
In 2011, the UC men’s team took the top two individual spots and 12th place as well on the way to winning the team title. But only two runners are back from the seven who scored in that meet: Evan Baum (who finished in 38th place) and Chase Beckmann (42nd).
“Our men’s team has been devastated by graduation and injuries,” said Schnier. “However, our team has made significant progress and our goal is to make it look as if everyone is back.”
Colin Cotton has emerged as the Bearcats top runner through the first two meets of the season. A sophomore transfer from Williams College (Mass.), he was UC’s No. 1 at both the Queen City Invitational and Vanderbilt University’s Commodore Classic. He helped lead the Bearcats to a No. 15 ranking in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Great Lakes Region.
The UC women’s team will be running in its fourth meet of the season. Emily Clay has been the Bearcats No. 1 in all three meets to date and freshman Anne Pace has been No. 2. The two should team with Zukowski to form a formidable front-running threesome.
“We are so excited to have Alison back,” said Schnier. “Even though she is not in good racing shape yet, she was still our MVP last season.”
Three regionally ranked teams will be running for the men’s title – No. 5 Ohio State University, No. 14 Kent State University and the Bearcats. The women’s race will be even tougher with four regionally ranked teams – No. 4 University of Toledo, No. 8 Ohio University, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 14 University of Akron