The key in any sport is to peak at the right time. For the Eastern Mennonite cross country women, getting healthy at just the right time is allowing them peak, as they landed four All-ODAC finishers and second place as a team at the ODAC Championships Saturday in Farmville, Va.
The silver medal was the highest team finish since the Royals won the league championship in 2001.
EMU was comfortably in second, totaling 58 points. Bridgewater had the top three individual runners to storm in with just 22 points. Lynchburg came in third with 90 points, while preseason favorite Washington and Lee was fourth with 97.
Sophomore Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton), running in just her second race this season after recovering from an off-season surgery, repeated as an All-ODAC First Teamer, finishing fourth overall. She finished the 6k course in 24:02.60, nearly 15 seconds in front of the fifth- and sixth-place runners.
Lanae Kreider (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) headed a trio of women who were All-ODAC Second Team as she crossed eighth. The junior’s time of 24:39.90 was just 3.5 seconds behind seventh and a First Team spot.
Katie Eckman (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco), who was hampered by a foot injury last season, repeated her Second Team award from 2011 with her 11th place finish in 25:07.80. Jolee Paden (St. Joseph, Ill./St. Joseph-Ogden) was the final individual honoree as she took 14th in 25:11.70.
Juni Schirch (Goshen, Ind./Goshen) gave the women their final points as she earned 21st with a time of 26:02.80. She took nearly 1:16 off her time from the ODAC Preview on Aug. 30 on the same course.
Senior Krista Rittenhouse (Mt. Pleasant, Pa./Mt. Pleasant Area) was just three spots behind Schirch, taking 24th in a photo finish time of 26:16.90. She finished in between a runner from Virginia Wesleyan and one from Lynchburg , as the trio crossed within 0.4 seconds of each other. Patty Danaher (Matoaca, Va./Matoaca) completed the top seven, as she was 46th in 27:53.40.
Next up is the South/Southeast Regional, hosted by Christopher Newport in Newport News, Va. That meet is on Saturday, Nov. 16.