Overnight thunderstorms dampened the course at Liberty Park, but they didn’t hamper the efforts of Heidelberg’s men’s and women’s cross country teams on Saturday morning. Both the men’s and women’s finished the Ohio Wesleyan Invitational seventh out of 11 teams, fourth out of seven Division III schools.
Freshman Brad Palocko (Medina) ran the 8000m course in 27:11. Finishing eight seconds after Palocko was junior David Kindall (Sullivan/Black River). Kindall clocked in at 27:19. Palocko and Kindall finished 28th and 29th.
Less than a minute later, Carson Schaefer (Okemos, MI / Okemos), Kevin Neel (Wellington/New London) and Dustin Kuess (Coldwater, Ohio / Coldwater) grabbed 37th, 38th and 39th place.
“Brad and David did a great job of working together to lead our men,” said head coach Briana Hess. “Kevin came through today as well, battling back from an ankle issue at the beginning of the season. Carson is proving to be someone to watch this season.”
For the women, senior Bobbi Custer (Woodstock/Triad) was the first Student Prince to cross the finish line in the 5k. Her time of 19:42 put her in 10th place overall, seventh place among NCAA athletes. Shortly after Custer finished, junior Sophie Goobic (Canton, NY/Williams) placed 28th with a time of 20:32.
“What an effort for Bobbi!” excaimed Hess. “She ran about 2 minutes faster than last year on this course.”
Rounding out the top five finishers for the women were freshmen Lorin Conte (Milford), Erica Miller (Enon/Greenon) and Kristen Fett (Defiance). The trio placed 52nd, 55th and 56th.
Heidelberg’s runners will have a little break in competition before they travel to Westerville on September 29 for the Otterbein Invitational.