The Captains split their focus between the men’s and women’s championship distances (8k & 6k) and a short-course distance (4k) at the Dickinson Long-Short Invitational. Joshua Bowling, Jade Zaharoff, Corey Lofton, and Erin Rolaf led their cadres through the wet and hilly terrain around the Big Spring High School campus.
Blue & Silver Attack Long & Short Courses
Lofton, Martin Earn Conference Accolades With 4k Performances
When the Captains arrived Friday afternoon at the Big Springs High School campus – new home of Dickinson College’s Long-Short Invitational – they were greeted with heavy rain showers for their course preview. The sloppy fields and slippery hills dried out a bit overnight and the sun came out just after the last race making for a great atmosphere for Cross Country competition.
Jade Zaharoff, Jessica McClelland
The Captains only had a trio lined up for the women’s Long Course race – Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA), Jessica McClelland (Stafford, VA), and Karen Bumiller (Burke, VA) – and they were determined to establish better placement in the field in the opening segment. Zaharoff ran comfortably ahead of the lead pack for the first kilometer before settling in with them heading through the mile maker and up to the woods. Much more comfortable over flat and rolling terrain, Zaharoff struggled a bit on the steep hills. She battled through to the flatter finishing run-in and wound up 45th in a time on par with last year’s run on the easier course (25:29). McClelland found the hills in the woods a little more to her liking and pushed to a 73rd place finish. Her 26:19 was over a minute faster than she ran last year. Bumiller suffered through some breathing issues and fell back to 106th (27:05). The trio finished 10th out of 23 teams in the 6k race.
Corey Lofton (Vienna, VA) led the Captains out of the gate in the men’s 4k race, towing his teammates in to good position through the first mile. Lofton hung tough with the lead group and was rewarded with a 13th place finish 12:56 – 16 places ahead of last year’s finish with a 12 second slower time. Christopher Lyford (Leesburg, VA) and Samuel Martin (Rockville, MD) battled each other through the woods and finished 50th & 51st with the freshman Martin getting the edge at the line (13:41-13:42). Junior Scott Wright (Oak Hill, VA) posted a 14:16 time – 23 seconds faster than he ran last year on the much quicker course. The Short-Course men matched the 95 points of their teammates in the 8.1k race for 10th out of 22 teams. Combined, the Captains ranked 6th out of the 16 teams that competed in both races.
Sarah Russell, Julie Machamer
The final race of the day was the women’s 4k and sophomore Erin Rolaf (Woodbridge, VA) was given the reins for the Captains’ lead trio. She brought rookies Julie Machamer (Norfolk, VA) and Sarah Russell (Manassas, VA) through the first kilometer before Machamer was given license to bolt. Russell and Rolaf held together through the mile mark where the sophomore started to stretch her legs out. By the time they entered the woods, Rolaf was rolling and powered to an 18th place finish (27 spots ahead of last year) in 16:20. Machamer closed in 16:56 for 33rd and Russell crossed the line in 42nd (17:07). Fellow frosh Brittney House (Midlothian, VA) finished 62nd (17:30). The top three combined for 10th out of 23 teams (92 points). Added to the 6k results, the women placed 9th out of 16 teams.
Corey Lofton earned the USA South Conference’s Runner of the Week honor and Sam Martin was named Rookie of the Week for their Short-Course performances. Both the men’s and women’s squads slipped a notch in the USTFCCCA Regional Polls with the men now 8th and the women 6th in the South/Southeast.
The Captains will line up for their first full-distance, full-squad race of the season on Salisbury’s quick course this Saturday for the Don Cathcart Invitational.
For complete CNU Results, check out the Results Page.