Friday Nov. 2nd, the WWC Cross Country Howling Owls competed in the USCAA National Championships at Southern Virginia University.
The women’s 6k route started with one mile of flats followed by a quarter mile hill that is the key to the race. Do well on the hill, do well in the race.
A runner’s strategy on this hill is key. It’s steep enough to contemplate walking. Some choose to walk, some continue running at a slow steady pace and some choose a combination of the two. Training on our mountain trails set the Owls up for success.
Going into the hill, Chelsea Gay led the way for the WWC women, followed closely by Aubrey DeLone and Lillie Friend.
Chelsea emerged from the woods in fourth place but closely behind the third place runner and being tracked by another in 5th
place. There was 1km left for her to make her move.
Chelsea stepped up her pace and smoked her 5th place follower, then waited patiently for the next uphill to try to leave the third place woman in the dust. Chelsea passed her with under a half mile to go, then set a challenge for the runner—keep up or throw up.
The fourth place woman took the bait and closed in just before the last incline in the course. As the breath of the third place wanna be hit her neck, Chelsea found overdrive, dropped the lady in a pure surge of speed with 200 meters to go—and grabbed the bronze.
Overall women results:
Chelsea Gay 3rd place plus All American, followed by Lillie Friend (12th), Aubrey Delone (17th), Sarah Fagan (19th), Mary Phillips (21st), Emily Brigham (23rd), Becca Wood (25th) and Rachel Melo (26th).
Women’s 6K Times
Chelsea Gay 26:35
Lillie Friend 29:22
Aubrey DeLone 30:02
Sarah Fagan 31:12
Mary Phillips 32:04
Emily Brigham 32:58
Becca Wood 33:19
Rachel Melo 33:21
The Men’s Race was dominated by Dine out of New Mexico. Coach Michales says they have an impressive team that’s a pleasure to watch.
Three of the top Diners run under a 5 minute mile and two more not far behind; it’s hard to compete with that talent, but not hard to poke fun–but Jason is a nice guy, and was complementary of the first place team, and proud of his men, who had a surprise ending.
The WWC Men did extremely well with a team only five. Each of the Owls’ contribution is significant in this context and all have to do well to compete as a team. The Men’s 8 km course is a duplicate of the women’s race. The additional 2k is a grueling, flat out-and-back at the end. WWC men went out at a blistering pace and held together in pursuit of the mighty Diners.
In the first mile, Chas Beiderman held fourth position into the hill, followed closely by Kevin Lane and Tal Gold. Emerging from the trails was Chas still in 4th but competing closely with three other runners, behind that pack was Kevin and Tal closely tracking a few other runners. Chas chose an unrelenting fast paced pack for the final 2km, a difficult place to be in such a race.
The group was reduced to three runners, all competing for 5th place overall. The pace increased again in final mile. Chas finished the race in the 8th position with a great time for such a challenging course of 29:06. Kevin and Tal phenomenal finishes as well– 11th and 12th respectively.
Geoffrey Steen grabbed a personal best for the course in the 17th, and Mike Jolly finished 30th place overall.
As the times were tallied and the scoring completed, the race organizers waited until the awards to announce the team finishes for the men’s race. As the team talked about how they wanted to hurry up and get back to Warren Wilson and study and work and do service, they had nearly forgotten the blood and sweat just poured into this event and were surprised by the announcement – barely heard over the roar of the owl fans, that Warren Wilson men took 2nd place overall.
Chas Beiderman 29:06
Kevin Lane 30:14
Tal Gold 30:39
Jeffrey Steen 31:40
Mike Jolly 32:57