Regional Meet in Sight for XC Team

Dave Tehiraj was honored with Men’s XC Freshman of the Year.

David Ridderhoff, Sports Editor

While neither team, nor any individuals, were able to win the cross country event hosted by Lewis University on Saturday, Nov. 8, there were plenty of top performances by both sides, and both teams finished in the top three in the conference. The event’s main goal was to set up the team’s roster for the regional meet, which it did, but only to a certain extent.

“I have a general idea of who will be running, but I need to see workouts over the course of training to get a better idea,” said head coach James Kearney. The women have a few sure picks, as sophomore Amanda Farrough and redshirt-junior Kristen Bonsor both had top five finishes in the event. Farrough didn’t win the event, but closed the gap between herself and the competition that sits above her right now, most notably Emily Frith of Bellarmine.

“When she raced [against Frith] earlier this season, Frith won by 25 seconds,” said Kearney. “Getting that time back to under 10 seconds is a huge accomplishment.” Following the two runners, redshirt-junior Jaime Hershfang finished in 17th place and junior Paige Gatter was the only other female to finish in the top 30 of the event. All in all, the Flyers ended up with a second place finish, finishing 45 accumulated positions behind conference champion Southern Indiana.

The men also fell victim to Southern Indiana, yet also finished behind Wisconsin-Parkside for a third place finish. Sophomore Shaun Milhauser was the top finisher for the men, who had six runners in the top 30 and all seven qualifiers finished 35th or better. Kearney gave credit to the second finisher for the Flyers, sophomore James Frederickson.

“He’s helped us take the next step as a team,” said Kearney. “We lost a lot from last year, but hopefully he can be one of the keys in us finishing better than we did last year.” Dave Tehiraj was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman of the Year based on his 19th place finish, a surprise victory for him. It’s the second straight year that Flyer has won the award, following Farrough’s women’s award last season, and became the first male since Andrew McLain in 2010 to win the award. For Tehiraj and the rest of the freshmen, it proved a point. “It showed our group [of freshmen] that on any given day any of them can contribute to a great team effort,” said Kearney.

The domination by Southern Indiana was something Kearney expected going into the tournament. “I thought we could’ve been a little bit closer, it would’ve given us good national credibility,” said Kearney. “But that’s a team of a lot of juniors and seniors, where we have more freshmen and sophomores.”

Two of the freshman that had taken headlines this season were twin brothers Andrew and Jacob Timmons, who had shown great potential. Andrew was one of the seven qualifiers for the men, however Jacob finished almost a minute after his brother and wasn’t one of the seven times used by the team. Kearney doesn’t think the brothers were affected by that fact, though. “To be quite honest, it doesn’t seem to have affected either of them, they saw Tehiraj’s finish and know they can help the team any given race.”

The Midwest Regional Championship race was this past Saturday, however due to publication deadline, the results of the event were not available to us. The event, held in Evansville, Ind., was a chance for the Flyers, who have both great team runners and individual performers, to attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Last season, the women’s team and two male runners made the event, and with the women growing stronger and more experienced and the men continuing to give surprising performances, there’s no reason to think that both teams can’t send at least one representative to Louisville, Ky. in December.

David Ridderhoff is a junior Radio/TV broadcast major. He is the sports editor for The Flyer. He is also the general manager of Lewis’ radio station, WLRA. As an avid sports fan, he also collects hats and jerseys from a variety of sports teams.

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