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Cross Country: Runners keep pace with quick opponents

Despite competing against top-ranked Georgetown, the Ohio women’s cross country team finished strong in Saturday’s Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. 

Georgetown dominated the race, with six of its seven runners finishing in the top eight positions. But the Bobcats had two runners finish in the top 10 en route to their second-place finish. 

Georgetown finished first with only 16 team points, a much lower total than Ohio’s 84 and third-place Geneseo State’s 94.

“I was excited going into the race knowing that we’d be running against teams that are nationally ranked,” sophomore Juli Accurso said. “We all wanted to run a strong race to begin the season, and having the tougher competition there helped the team accomplish that goal.”

Ohio sophomores Accurso (21:43) and Emily Pifer (21:47) finished ninth and 10th, respectively, to lead the way for the team. All seven Bobcats who placed were in the top 40 runners in the field of 115.

“Georgetown dominated the women’s race, but it was still a solid performance for our women,” coach Clay Calkins said. 

The Ohio men also competed at the Harry Groves Invitational and finished in third place of eight teams with 54 overall team points. Geneseo State (33) and Dickinson College (45) finished ahead of the Bobcats.

Leading the pack for Ohio with a fourth-place overall finish was sophomore Chase Robinson (26:58), while other top performances for the men came from Tyler Ames (27:04) in seventh place and Noah Howkins (27:18) in 13th place. 

Ohio’s top five runners finished in the meet’s top 16.

“The competition for the men wasn’t nearly as stiff as it was for the women, but the top three runners raced very well,” Calkins said. “I think both squads raced well as a team, and the results speak for themselves. Both teams raced well.”

Both squads will be back in action Saturday afternoon in Athens for the Ohio Invitational.

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