The Eastern Mennonite women’s cross country team took fourth place at Saturday’s ODAC Championships, running on their home course at Peak View Elementary in Penn Laird. The Lady Royals vastly improved upon their preseason ranking of seventh in the league.
Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, OH/Bluffton) again led the EMU women. She started with the leaders and spaced only shortly behind, crossing sixth in 24:07.52. She was just a step out of fifth place, taken by Washington and Lee’s Casey Mackintosh in 24:06.15. Bridgewater senior Olivia Mills won the individual title by ten seconds, crossing in 23:07.
Chappell-Dick earned a spot on the All-ODAC First Team with her finish. Her time was also more than 45 seconds better than her time on the same course at the season-opening ODAC Preview Meet, when she won the meet in 24:53.
Senior Alli Eanes (Harrisonburg, VA/Westmont Hilltop) also claimed a league honor, being named All-ODAC Second Team by taking 13th. She crossed the finish line in 24:50.95.
Krista Rittenhouse (Mt. Pleasant, PA/Mt. Pleasant Area) was just a couple of spots behind, taking 16th in 25:01.97. She was only six seconds away from 14th and the final spot on the Second Team. Lanae Kreider (Harrisonburg, VA/Broadway) finished 20th with a clocking of 25:16.63. Juni Schirch (Goshen, VA/Goshen) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Royals, crossing 39th overall in 26:43.94.
Jolee Paden (St. Joseph, IL/St. Joseph-Odgen) battled illness throughout her run but was still 48th with a time of 27:21.06. Chafin Brumfield (Harrisonburg, VA/Spotswood) was one spot behind her in 27:32.71.
Eastern Mennonite took fourth as a team with 92 points, slightly behind Lynchburg in third with 85. The team score was hampered especially by Paden’s illness, as well as 2011 All-ODAC Second Teamer Katie Eckman (Quarryville, PA/Solanco) missing the meet with an injury.
Washington and Lee had all five of their scorers in the top nine to run away with the team title at 29 points. Bridgewater had the top two finishers and took second with 51 points.
The women will now have a week off to get healthy and train for the South/Southeast Regional, which is Nov. 10 in Emory, GA.
The EMU men’s cross country team finished sixth in the conference. Each of the seven Royals runners improved their time from the ODAC Preview Meet on the same course.