Ben Tuttle took the win at Cedarville’s Friendship Invitational to lead the men’s cross-county team to a second place finish with 41 points behind Cincinnati’s 24. Tuttle completed the eight-kilometer course in a time of 25 minutes, finishing just ahead of alumni Matt Brooker.
“I felt good,” Tuttle said. “It was nice to have an alumni help me pace and be in front of me to break the wind. It was good to have somebody else in front to help pull me along.”
Conditions were nearly perfect at race time, despite a slight breeze and some softer footing on the course.
“This isn’t anything for wind,” Tuttle said. “It’s usually a lot windier, so I’m thankful to have only a tiny bit of wind. And the course was a little bit soft even though it hasn’t rained. It’s nice to have a harder surface. Just a little soft today for some reason.”
Not far behind Tuttle and Brooker was senior Clay Watson, who took fourth place overall in a time of 25 minutes and 46 seconds. Rounding out Cedarville’s top seven were junior Matt Pelletier (14th; 26:35), freshman Daniel Michalski (15th; 26:36), sophomore Wyatt Hartman (18th; 26:51), senior Matt Cheney (19th; 26:53), and senior Joel Dennison (20th; 27:07).
“I felt pretty good,” Cheney said. “I’ve been dealing with some issues the last two years and those didn’t flare up at all. I was pretty pleased with each mile I ran. It was a good day.”
The Yellow Jackets were ranked 16th in the nation during preseason polls and 3rd in the Midwest region. Despite losing a core group of runners to graduation this past year, Cedarville is looking to return to the national meet as they have the last two years since joining the NCCA Division II.
“We’re not as spread out, I guess,” Cheney said. “We have more of a pack. It’s a little slower, but it’s going to translate into some good scores.”
Up next for the Yellow Jackets is the All-Ohio meet on Friday, October 3rd.
Jon Gallardo is a junior journalism major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys writing, playing basketball and quoting Napoleon Dynamite. He hopes to one day play in the NBA.