Men finish 4th, women 5th as some runners take rest

| Sports Reporter

The men’s and women’s cross country teams finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in Saturday’s Gibson Family Invitational meet hosted by DePauw University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The conditions were beautiful in Terre Haute, Ind., which promised for a good race and even better times. Senior Alex Bearden led the men’s team with a time of 26:11.40 (fifth), and was followed by another senior, Alden Black, with a time of 26:43.09 (19th). The women’s team was led by freshman Bronwyn Bedrick, who held a time of 24:02.00 (17th). Only a second behind, freshman Brittany Cronin finished at 24:03.60 (19th).

Wash. U. had roughly half its team missing from the meet. Due to a number of injuries, and both physical and mental exhaustion, many athletes were kept from running. Senior Hope Rathnam, who finished for the women’s team with a time of 24:37.40, said the team is still strong enough to compete without them.

“Some of our team had to take the weekend off in order to take a mental and physical break since we just had a big race in Louisville and another one coming up in Wisconsin,” Rathnam said. “Although we had only about half our team racing, we still had a very strong meet.”

The Gibson Family Invitational was a rest meet, focused more on getting the team ready for the big meets coming up, according to members of the team.

“The meet was all about having fun and setting ourselves up to run well at next week’s big meet, where we’ll field our full team for the first time this season,” said co-captain Bearden, who was the men’s leader over the weekend. “It’ll be our first good look at the competition we’ll face at regionals in November, so the meet was a success.”

The teams continue getting ready for their huge meet in November. The entire season has been devoted to securing a spot at NCAA regionals and running well enough to go beyond them. The runners and the coaches have been working overtime to make sure that the team is prepared and ready to do well enough at regionals to continue this year’s run to more challenging and difficult competition.

“We’re excited about how well the freshmen have been racing,” Rathnam said. “The adrenaline is starting to build for the big races coming up.”

The Bears compete at the UW-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10:30 a.m.