Despite a cold, wet and windy day, the EMU cross country women ran well at the ODAC Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. Running on an even muddier course since they followed the men’s race, the women landed a second-place finish as a team, taking two of the top three spots on the individual side.
Hannah Chappell-Dick (Bluffton, Ohio/Bluffton) had her best finish of the year, earning the runner-up medal. She crossed the 6k course in 23:45.1, following only Bridgewater’s Kaylee Kubisiak, who won her second Old Dominion Athletic Conference title in 23:35.6.
Freshman Kat Lehman (Dover, Ohio/Dover) came in third in her first go-around at the ODAC Championships, clocking a time of 24:10.8. She took a full 67 seconds off her race on the same course as the ODAC Preview. Both Chappell-Dick, who didn’t run at the ODAC Preview, and Lehman earned All-ODAC First Team honors with their finishes.
Jolee Paden (St. Joseph, Ill./St. Joseph-Odgen) landed on the All-ODAC Second Team as she crossed 13th with a time of 25:28.9. Katie Eckman (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco) and Lanae Kreider (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) followed each other through the chute as they rounded out EMU’s top five. Eckman was 18th in 25:49.4 while Kreider was 19th in 26:03.0, beating a Roanoke runner by half a step.
The Royals charted 55 points as a team to finish second. BC won the title with 42 points, as the two friendly rivals dominated the race with 11 of the top 19 finishers. Washington and Lee was third with 83 points.
Coach Jason Lewkowicz said the ODAC race set up his runners for the upcoming regional meet.
“I’m really proud of the team today,” said Lewkowicz. “The conditions were tough but they responded to my challenge to embrace the opportunity to compete and show their toughness, which they did. The women stuck their nose into the race hoping to win and although they fell a little short, you can’t complain about their effort and strong runner-up finish. This effort gives us a lot of momentum as we prepare for regionals.”
Aside from the All-ODAC honorees, the women claimed two special awards from the league.
Kat Lehman was named the ODAC Rookie of the Year, as she was the top D-III runner at three of her four races during the regular season. She was named ODAC Runner of the Week three times during the year as well.
Junior Hannah Chappell-Dick was voted the women’s cross country ODAC Scholar-Athlete, charting a 3.84 GPA as a biology and kinesiology double major. She has been named to the ODAC All-Academic Team and USTFCCCA All-Academic Team twice each, is a three-time All-ODAC First Team honoree, and went to nationals in both cross country and outdoor track (800m) as a sophomore.
EMU’s runners have an off weekend next week as they prepare for the South/Southeast Regional Championships. That meet is Nov. 15 in Rome, Ga.