KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 12, 2018) – In a season full of good weekends for ETSU Cross Country, Friday may have marked their best, with the men pulling away from the field to make it two consecutive years with a meet title, while the women set the tone with consistency at the HPU VertCross Invitational.
Running the final race of the day, the ETSU men sent Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.), Noah Charles (Johnson City, Tenn.), Gavin Cooper (LaFollette, Tenn.), James Garst (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Malick Gemechu (Johnson City, Tenn.), Zach Johnson (Kingsport, Tenn.), Louis Morris (Knoxville, Tenn.), Ben O'Connor (Statesville, N.C.), Carl Oberfeitinger (Kingsport, Tenn.), Matt Scarr (Wambersal, Australia), Nathan Longfellow (Cookeville, Tenn.), Josh Routh (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Ben Varghese (Kingsport, Tenn.) to the 8K course at Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, and would see seven of the 13 finish in the top 20 of the 157 competing runners. Varghese led the way with another third-place finish, making it 4-for-4 in top-threes this season, Gemechu crossed just one spot behind Varghese, Bradtmueller finished eighth, Charles rounded out the top 10 with Scarr, Garst and Routh also amongst the first 20 to complete the meet.
With the team win, one that saw ETSU’s 36 points a full 48 better than second-place Coastal Carolina, 58 to the good of third-place Appalachian State, and 102 clear of a Southern Conference foe and fourth-place UNCG, the Bucs have now finished in the top five as a team 13 of their last 14 events, including the other win in this tremendous streak, 2017’s USC Upstate Invite.
On the women’s side, Addison Aguilar (Clovis, Calif.), Lindsay Bruce (Knoxville, Tenn.), Mia DePillo (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Shila Kapaya (Knoxville, Tenn.), Emily Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), Jessica Lord (Morristown, Tenn.), Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Makayla Shaw (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Hannah Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.), Lindsey Stallworth (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Colbie Williamson (Clyde, N.C.) represented what would be a complete team effort that pushed ETSU into the top-third of finishers in Kernersville, logging a sixth-place result on the day.
Setting the pace for the Bucs was Schwarz, who now has two top 30 finishes in as many attempts this season after a 28th-place result Friday. Schwarz was followed closely by Stallworth, who finished just two spots back of her freshman teammate, and all told ETSU put six in the top 60 of the 168 runners that took on the 5K.
“Our main goal was to have a solid race and use this meet as the next step in the process and I think we did that today,” head coach George Watts said. “This was a continuation of our training towards achieving our goals for the season.”
Winning on the women’s side was Appalachian State, edging the hosts High Point, Campbell rounding out the top three. Individually, High Point’s Famke Heinst made sure the home squad wouldn’t go home empty-handed, running a 17:35.02 to win the event by a staggering 43 seconds, while the men’s individual race had a family feel hailing from halfway across the globe, with South African brothers Nadeel and Adriaan Wildschutt proving their long journeys worthwhile, finishing first and second for the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina.
As for ETSU, Watts now prepares his men and women for the biggest meet of the season to date, with two weeks of preparation coming before October 27th’s Southern Conference Championship run in Cullowhee, N.C.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s and women’s cross country, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the cross country links under the sports tab.