TIFFIN, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's cross country team placed fifth out of nine teams with 130 points in the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship meet at the Clinton Heights Golf Course, hosted by Heidelberg University.
Ohio Northern University claimed the 2017 OAC Championship with 33 points.
While the cold weather and wet conditions provided a unique challenge to the runners, the course at Clinton Heights was a mostly flat surface with slight hills and few obstacles for the runners as the men completed two 4k loops and the women ran two 3k loops of the course.
In the week leading up to the meet, head coach Joe Eby told his young teams to believe in themselves, their training and to take the next step forward toward competing at a higher level.
Freshman Josh Hickmott (Clay, N.Y./Liverpool) took his coach's message to heart and was the top finisher on the men's side for the first time this season. The freshman earned second-team All-OAC honors with a 15th place finish in a career-best time of 25:56.6, shaving 42 seconds off his previous career-best 8k time set two weeks ago at the Inter-Regional Rumble.
Sophomore Isaac Wilson (Tylersburg, Pa./North Clarion) was the next BW runner to cross the finish line in 20th place with an 8k time of 26:12.2. Senior Brady Jeffers (South Amherst/Firelands), sophomore Nick Irwin (Westlake) and junior Spencer Mahon all had career-high finishes at the OAC Championship meet this season to round out the top five. Jeffers improved on his previous career-best 8k time by 6.7 seconds to place 32nd with a time of 26:47.8, Irwin shaved 6.1 seconds off his previous career-best with a time of 26:49.5 to place 34th and Mahon placed 35th with a time of 26:55.5.
Two weeks from now, seven runners from both the men's and the women's teams will compete at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championship in Delaware, Ohio, hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University. The Yellow Jackets will be familiar with the course after having run in the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational earlier in the season.
BW will next compete at the Great Lakes Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 11, hosted by Ohio Wesleyan.