BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Despite not running their top five runners in either the men’s or women’s races, the Shawnee State cross country program showed that it had strength from top to bottom at the Mid-South Conference Preview Meet on the confines of Phil Moore Park in Bowling Green, Ky. Saturday afternoon.
Even though the Bears and cross country head coach Eric Putnam decided not to bring any of their top harriers to the preview meet, Shawnee State still put both of its women’s runners in the top 15 in a field of 37 and four of its men’s runners in the top 30 in a 51-man field to record an impressive showing.
In the women’s meet, Darian Steele and Shaniah Begley were the only pair of runners who represented the women’s cross country program, but each would record impressive finishes to head the Bears’ overall efforts.
Steele, a freshman from Catlettsburg, Ky. utilized a time of 21:26.9 to grab an eighth place finish in the 37-runner field. With her aforementioned time, Steele sat just 28 seconds back of a top-five finish.
Begley, who completed her first meet of her Shawnee State career at the MSC Preview, put in an effort of 21:55.5 to take home a 12th place finish. As a whole, the freshman from McDermott, Ohio finished less than 29 seconds behind Steele and just 25 seconds off of a top-10 finish in the meet, capping off the Bears’ efforts on the women’s side.
For the men, Logan Rowe and Austin Divelbiss would lead the Shawnee State brigade as the pair recorded top-15 finishes in running times of 28:20.6 and 28:44.4.
With their times, Rowe came just four seconds away from a top-10 finish while Divelbiss finished less than 28 seconds away from accomplishing the same feat.
Following them, Chad McComas would finish 21st in his first career meet as a Bear. The freshman ran a time of 29:14.1 to come less than seven seconds away from finishing in the top-20 for the event.
In addition to Rowe, Divelbiss, and McComas, Noah Bullock, Marshall Farnsworth and Austin Ridenour also competed at the MSC Preview, with Bullock finishing as the last runner to complete a time of under 30 seconds with a time of 29:59.1, putting the freshman in 30th place for the event.
Behind Bullock, Farnsworth would grab the final scoring slot for the men with a time of 30:33.8 as the junior grabbed a 35th place finish for the event. Ridenour would complete the afternoon for Shawnee State by running a time of 34:18.9 to finish in 47th position.
Overall, the men’s cross country program would finish in fourth place on the afternoon as the Bears scored 96 points to edge Georgetown (101) for fourth place in the five-team field.
Campbellsville would win the MSC Preview by placing four of its runners in the top five to come away with a point total of 26. John-Paul Williamson of Lindsey Wilson, who won the MSC Runner of the Week award this past week, won the overall meet with a time of 25:44.7.
Both the men and the women will have a busy schedule over the coming weekend as Shawnee State will travel to Cedarville, Ohio to participate in the 61st All-Ohio Championships on Friday, Oct. 2 before heading southwest to run in the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, Oct. 3.