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Cross Country takes on Wheaton Gil Dodds Invitational

This article appeared in the September 23rd edition of the Round Table

Cross Country traveled to Dupage County just outside Chicago to race in the Wheaton Gil Dodds Invitational in the St. James Forest Preserve. Wheaton College hosted the invitational. 

The 6km and 8km courses consisted of three 2km loops for the women and four 2km loops for the men respectively. The majority of the loop took place on a wooded path that opened up onto a large grass field. The last part of the loop was on a gravel pathway that entered back into the wooded area. Overall, the course was relatively flat with several elongated periods of slight inclines and declines. 

With the weather at a brisk 80 °F with high humidity, the athletes were forced to manage how hard they ran at different points to ensure they did not overheat.

One of the toughest parts of the course for the men appeared to be the fourth mile as all the Beloit runners slowed noticeably before closing out the last 1600m. This is not that uncommon for runners at all levels, as the middle miles are usually the hardest psychologically to overcome. 

The women’s pacing was much smoother however, with only a few athletes having trouble with mile three. This type of organic movement through the race is precisely what the team should be aiming for. It allows runners to focus more on passing opponents instead of their individual paces.

The field itself was highly competitive in both races with the winning woman having an average mile pace of 6:00 and the winning man having a pace of 5:05 per mile according to TFRRS.org, a website where NCAA Cross Country and Track and Field results are posted after meets. 

The Buccaneers did not disappoint though, with Frances Knaggs leading the women’s team with the second best time of her career at 23:46.6, and Yusuke Hatano leading the men’s team with a respectable 29:15.8.

The team is still shaping and developing and with that comes inevitable growing pains. With so much time left in the season and a bi-week this weekend the Beloit Buccaneers are shaping up to show a lot of improvement quite soon.

Times and Places for both men’s and women’s races are as follows:

Frances Knaggs was Beloit’s first women’s finisher in 39th scoring 29 points at 23:46.6 followed by Fiona Cismesia in 111th scoring 54 points at 26:42.7. Lexi Olson finished in 135th scoring 58 points at 27:382. Several minutes behind her Jamie Lepito finished in 152nd scoring 63 points at 30:04.8. Rounding out the scoring five for the women was Isabel Mendoza in 163rd scoring 70 points at 32:45.1. The team in total scored 269 points putting them in 11th place.

The men were led off by Yusuke Hatano in 126th place scoring 59 points with a time of 29:15.8. Noah Sisson finished in 141st scoring 65 points at 29:55.4. A minute later John Tower Jr. crossed the line in 164th scoring 68 points at 30:58.1. Finishing in 167th and scoring 70 points at 31:42.3 was Mauricio Penn. The final scoring runner for Beloit was Isaiah Wisdom finishing in 186th scoring 77 points at 35:26.0. In total the team scored 339 points placing them in 11th.

Editor’s Note: The author of this article is a member of the Beloit College Cross Country Team.

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