Cross Country competes in Conference Championships

By EMILIE HOFFER | November 2, 2017

B12_WXC

HOPKINSSPORTS.COM The women’s cross country team won their 10th straight Conference title at Gettysburg College.

The Hopkins men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Gettysburg College this past Sunday morning to compete in the Centennial Conference Championships.

While the women sought to defend their 10th straight Centennial Conference title, the men were looking for their first team title since 2013. To no surprise, the women dominated the Conference yet again, winning the team title with 25 points. The Blue Jays edged out second-place Dickinson College by 41 points.

The Dickinson Red Devils finished with 66 points in the team scoring. Impressively, the top four Blue Jays all placed in the top 10.

Sophomore Lauren Jacob talked about the Conference win.

“We came into the race as strong favorites,” sophomore Lauren Jacob said. “We knew if we ran like we have all season, we would come out on top.”

Junior Ellie Clawson led the way for the Blue Jays, taking first place overall in the race and finishing the 6K race in a time of 21:17.8.

The race was Clawson’s second fastest of her career in the 6K, as she set a personal best earlier in the season at the Paul Short Run.

For her performance, Clawson was named the Centennial Conference Runner of the Year. Clawson is now the eighth Blue Jay to take the individual Conference title.

Hopkins now ties Dickinson College with the most individual Conference championships, set at eight. Not far behind Clawson was classmate Natalia LaSpada, who took second place overall with a time of 21:29.4.

Also finishing in the top 10 was freshman Therese Olshanski and senior Caroline Smith, who finished in fifth and sixth, respectively.

The top four Blue Jays earned first-team All-Centennial Conference honors for their individual top-10 finishes. Additionally, Olshanski was named the Conference’s Freshman Runner of the Year.

Rounding out the Blue Jays’ top five was Jacob, who finished just outside the top 10, crossing the line in 22:33.4. She took home an 11th-place finish and second-team All-Conference honors.

Also taking top-15 spots in the Conference for the Blue Jays were sophomores Kristin Meek and Allison Rosen, who crossed the line seconds apart in 13th and 14th place, respectively.

Meanwhile, the men’s 8K race did not end as the Jays had hoped, as they placed second to a dominant Haverford College team for the fourth straight year.

The Blue Jays finished with 54 points in the team score, behind the Ford’s almost-perfect team score of 21 points. Still, the Blue Jays were able to place their top-five scoring finishers in the top 15.

The Blue Jays were led by junior Scott Pourshalchi, who took a sixth-place finish overall. Pourshalchi finished the 8K course in 25:38.3, recording the fastest time of the day for Hopkins.

The junior earned first-team All-Centennial honors for his team-leading performance on Sunday.

Finishing close behind Pourshalchi was junior classmate Ollie Hickson, who crossed the line in 25:51.0, earning eighth place.

Rounding out the top-five were runners senior Charles Thornton, freshman Jared Pangallozzi and senior Panth Patel. They crossed the line in 12th, 13th and 15th place, respectively.

Hickson, Thornton and Pangallozzi earned second-team All-Centennial Conference for their efforts on Sunday.

This was the Blue Jays’ 10th time finishing in the top three at the Conference Championships.

Coming up, both the men and the women will toe the line for the NCAA D-III Regional Championships.

Jacob discussed the team’s goals for the future.

“We definitely want to defend our Mideast title and qualify for Nationals,” Jacob said. “We have put in a lot of hard work this season, and we are ready for a good race at Regionals.”

The Jays will travel to Newville, Pa. for the men’s and women’s regional races.

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