by Tabitha DeHart
The Lady Jackets ran in their first home meet on Saturday in the 23rd Annual Friendship Invitational. They placed seventh out of 11 schools, running in less than ideal conditions and with several of their runners still injured and unable to compete. The Lady Jackets tallied 153 points while the University of Dayton won the meet with 16 points and the runner up, Tiffin, earned 94.
Alex Archambault, after sitting out the season’s first race, placed 18th for the team in a time of 24:00. Freshman Hailey Bredeson was next in 24:25, placing 30th overall. Spaced closer together were freshman Nicole Watterud (40th; 25:12), junior Melanie Redfield (45th; 25:28) and freshman Mary Kearney (47th; 25:28). Senior Jasmin Banachowski (50th; 25:41) and freshman Abby Niemiec (53rd; 25:49) completed Cedarville’s top seven runners.
“The course I felt like was kind of slow,” said assistant coach Carolyn Watson, a 2012 Cedarville graduate who ran on the cross-country team for four years as one of its top competitors. “It was sloppy in some areas, the backstretch is notorious for getting pretty sloppy, so that wasn’t that great today, and the grass was just a little wet.”
However, Watson said she didn’t see the girls giving in to the conditions.
“I felt like they were there. They were ready to compete,” Watson said. Though most of the girls ran slower than they would have liked, Watson said their focus in the weeks ahead will be to “get our minds in it and the times and the better conditions will be ahead.”
Bredeson, Cedarville’s second fastest runner at the meet, said she wanted to do better but is still happy with her peformance.
“I’m just excited to do a lot better in the future and improve,” she said.
For many of the Lady Jackets, this was their first 6K, which was an adjustment for the ladies. Bredeson said that she’s excited about learning “how to run that 6K because I didn’t think it would feel that much different but mentally it’s a little bit tougher.”
The Lady Jackets have another two weeks to train before their next meet, which will once again be held at the home course. The All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championship will be held on Oct. 4 at 2:45 p.m.