By Samantha Meyer
After a two-week break, the Cleveland State University cross country team traveled to Cedarville, Ohio on Sept. 28 to compete in the State’s All-Ohio meet. The race split the team into two, with nine girls competing in the Championship race and four girls in the open race. The competition was a 6k, with 35 teams racing.
The Vikings placed 13th overall, led by junior Anna Brandt. Brandt finished first for the team, placing 14th with a time of 22:46. Crossing the finish line about a minute and a half later was senior and co-captain Olivia Hammon who placed 65th with a time of 24:01. Close behind was freshman Hannah Korte, who ran a 24:19 finishing in 80th. Senior and co-captain Jessica Byler thought that the race was challenging, but it was a needed challenge.
“All-Ohio was definitely a tough race for all of us,” Blyer said. “The heat made it challenging, however, I feel like we gave it our all. I was really impressed with how much we worked as a team, and I thought our packs did a good job pushing each other.”
Due to there being an open and a championship race, the team was split up into two. Junior Kylie Scott led her team placing 25th with a time of 25:13. Her time places her fourth on the team, moving her up seven spots from the Vikings last race at the Tommy Evans Invitational. Byler crossed the finish line second for the team and 62nd overall, with a time of 26:33, and Abbey Rojeck finished just three places behind her with a time of 26:40. This was the first time the team was at an event with two races, and Byler said that the team support was very helpful.
“It was our first meet having an open race and a varsity race,” Byler said. “Being able to support each other was a key factor, given the hot conditions.”
The cross country team has one more meet before the Horizon League Championship. With the conference championship coming up, Byler wants to see how the practices have helped the team in a high-stakes situation.
“Going into the Horizon League Championships, I’m super excited to see what we can do,” Blyer said. “We’ve been having really good workouts the last few weeks, and I think it will pay off. Everyone is working really hard and staying motivated, which can be tough at this point in the season.”
The Vikings return to action next week on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Disney Cross Country Classic in Orlando, Florida. The Vikings have a history of doing well at this meet, having placed second overall in 2017. They leave for Florida this week, hoping to bring a win back home to Cleveland.