Junior Tom Ohlman looks to continue his success on the season and become the first qualifier for the NCAA Championships in Xavier Cross Country history.
Nov. 8, 2012
CINCINNATI- The Xavier men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete in their final team race after a successful fall season. They will be running in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.
The men's side is coming off a disappointing team finish at the A-10 Championship two weeks ago and hope to rebound this weekend in Madison. Head coach Ryan Orner commented earlier this week on his expectations for the men: "The men's goal is to finish in the top 20 as a team." He is also hoping that Tom Ohlman can qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championship with another strong performance this weekend, which is not out of the question for the junior captain. Ohlman has finished in the top-10 in all five races this fall, which includes his first overall finish at the Queen City Invitational, fifth overall at the All-Ohio Championship, seventh overall at the NCAA Pre-Nationals, and fourth overall at the A-10 Championship two weeks ago. Qualifying as an individual would make Ohlman the first individual in Xavier history to compete for an NCAA Championship in cross country. Ohlman was recently named to the A-10 all-conference team for his overall performance this season.
The best finish for Xavier men at the NCAA Regionals was 14th overall in 2010 where Xavier great Tommy Kauffman set the Xavier 10k record with his time of 31:10.
The women's side looks to capitalize on a very strong season by meeting a goal that has been very familiar to them throughout this season. "Our goal on the women's side has been the same since our first practice," Orner explained, "which is to finish in the top 15 as a team." It would be the first time in at least eight years Xavier history that the women's team placed in the top-15 at Regionals. The women look to improve upon last year's finish of 16th, missing the top-15 by 46 points. A top-15 finish is not all the women hope to accomplish Friday in Madison, as Orner explains. "Individually we are looking for everyone to break their personal record for 6k." Accomplishing this task could rewrite the Xavier women's 6k record book, which up until this year hasn't seen a woman place in the top-5 since 2007. Junior Clare Fischer is 4th all-time on the 6k list with her time of 21:41.2 at the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Louisville earlier this year. Fischer is also a hopeful to qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championship with another top-10 finish this weekend.
The best finish for Xavier women at the NCAA Regionals came last year with a 16th overall finish, missing the top-15 by 46 points. The fastest 6k run at the NCAA Regionals in Xavier women's history was Christina Schneider in 2007 with a time of 21:54.28. The fastest 6k in women's history is 20:46.88 set by Becky Clark, sister of current captain and senior Rachel Clark, in 2007 at the Pepperdine Invitational.
Running alongside Ohlman for the men will be fellow captain Hank Geer and senior Ben Foley, junior Spencer Liechty, sophomores Corey Zielinski and Connor Buchholz, and freshman Austin Winter. Juniors Chris Hanson and Keith Schenkel are traveling with the team as alternates.
Running for the women, including Clare Fischer, will be senior captain Kaitlin Price, juniors Anna Ahlrichs, Jessica Albers and Abby Fischer, and sophomores Chelsea Hoffmaster and Audrey Ramos with senior Calesse Cardosi traveling as the teams alternate.
The men will start in box 27 of 30 and the women will start in box 21 of 32. The women will start things off in the 6k at noon with the men's 10k following at 1:15 pm.