Men's and Women's Cross Country Both Take 6th at National Catholic Championship

Junior Tom Ohlman's performance Friday was seconds shy of the fastest all-time Xavier record for the 8K.

Junior Tom Ohlman's performance Friday was seconds shy of the fastest all-time Xavier record for the 8K.

Sept. 14, 2012

CINCINNATI- Both of Xavier's cross country teams finished 6th in their first meet outside of Cincinnati this season at the 33rd Annual National Catholic Championship in South Bend, Indiana Friday. Both the men and the women were led by two career bests in junior Tom Ohlman's time of 24:39.5 in the 8K and junior Clare Fischer time of 18:00.6 in the 5K. Xavier ran the Notre Dame Burke Golf Course with thirty-four other schools on Friday afternoon on their way to the third straight week the Musketeer men and women both finished in the top ten overall.

"Our women's team really went for it today right from the start," commented head coach Ryan Orner after the race. "They went out fast through the first mile and held on the best they could during the second half of the race for a sixth place finish. Clare Fischer had an outstanding race, finishing 15th overall in a time of 18:00.6 moving her up to 5th on the Xavier Cross Country all-time 5K list."

In just two weeks, Fischer has put herself in the top-10 twice, and has been the first female to break into the top-10 since 2007. Jessica Albers finished 26th with a time of 18:24.2, 1:35 better than her time last year at Notre Dame, and was followed by freshmen Sarah Mazzei who placed 31st with a time of 18:32.2. Four Musketeers finished within a ten second span which helped clinch a top ten finish for the Musketeers: sophomore Audrey Ramos (18:50.9) finished 44th, senior captain Kaitlin Price (18:52.5) finished 47th, sophomore Chelsea Hoffmaster (18:57.8) finished 52nd in her first meet of the season, and junior Abby Fischer (19:00.4) finished 57th. Other finishers for the Musketeers included senior Calesse Cardosi (19:08.1) and freshman Victoria Ciotti (19:34.3).

"As for the men's race," Orner noted, "Tom Ohlman's performance today was nothing short of amazing. He battled with the top guys in the race all the way to finish in 6th with a time of 24:39.5, a personal best of his. Hank Geer also had a good race today. He ran with the top pack through three miles and held on well to finish 18th overall."

The men's side was led by Ohlman's 6th place finish, the only top-10 finisher for the Musketeers this week. That along with his 1st place finish last Friday at the Queen City Invitational snagged Ohlman his second top ten finish of this young season. His performance today was also just seconds shy of the all-time best in Xavier men's 8K history. Senior captain Hank Geer looked strong yet again, finishing 18th with a time of 25:16 with fellow senior Ben Foley finishing eleven places behind him in 29th with a time of 25:37. The next four Musketeer runners finished within twenty seconds of each other in the 26th minute: junior Keith Schenkel (26:26) finished 76th, sophomore Connor Buchholz (26:31) finished 85th, and juniors Chris Hanson and Spencer Liechty one second apart (26:43 and 26:44) placed 102nd and 103rd, respectively. Rounding out the field for Xavier was sophomore Corey Zielinski (26:58) and freshman Austin Winter (26:59).

The first races of the day were the men's and women's open races, and Xavier had two participants for the men and three for the women. Sophomore Matt Orlando finished with a time of 27:48 and junior Nick Kobunski finished with a time of 28:29.7 in the 8K. Junior Anna Ahlrichs had a finishing time of 19:36.4, sophomore Emily Kuhn finished with a time of 21:16.1, and junior Carrie Kurish finished three seconds later with a time of 21:19.2.

The men and women take a week off from competition after a successful three race span in which both teams have finished in the top-10 overall. Their season continues Saturday, September 29th with the All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, Ohio.