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Runners revel in rain

Interviews from the SAC and NHC cross country meets. Oct. 5, 2013.

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Runners splash through the start of the NHC girls cross country meet.

Rain slows SAC, NHC meets

Cross country runners can be obsessive about their times. But on a day like Saturday, when it was pouring rain at the SAC and NHC meets, time wasn’t as much a concern as just finishing in a respectable spot.

“It’s more of a race of wills, a fight to the finish line,” said Concordia’s Zach Panning, who won the SAC boys meet with a time of 15 minutes, 53.2 seconds.

Bishop Dwenger won the team competition with 26 points – bettering second-place Concordia by 37 – and the Saints were led by Greg Tippmann (16:39.2), Tyler Adgalanis (16:53.2) and Matt Klein (17:00.9), who finished second through fourth individually.

“It’s tough running in this, but it’s fun,” Panning said. “I like running in this because you feel pretty cool. You feel like you look cool.”

Concordia edged Bishop Dwenger for the top spot in the girls meet – 40-66 – and the Cadets had the top two times.

Marina Konow won in 19:36.6, followed by teammate Michaela Harrison (19:57.3). Snider’s Brittany Fensler was third (20:18.7) to lead the Panthers to a third-place finish with 72 points.

In the NHC meet, which was also run on the IPFW course near The Plex, Carroll won the boys race with 36 points, followed by Homestead with 42 and DeKalb with 78.

DeKalb’s Mark Beckmann won in 16:09.8.

“It was sloppy and wet,” Beckmann said, “but it was awesome. I love running through the rain. The more rain the better.”

What’s the biggest challenge?

“Staying on your feet,” he said. “We weren’t really going for time today. We were going for place because we knew it was sloppy and wet and it wasn’t going to be anything special. But it was good.”

Carroll’s Cameron Clements took second place in 16:15.5. Homestead’s Brayden Law was third in 16:22.6. Carroll’s Brett Unger was fourth in 16:46.5 and teammate Jacob Schmeling was fifth in 16:46.8.

In the girls meet, Carroll won with 33, followed by Homestead with 66, Norwell with 106 and Bellmont with 121.

Bellmont’s Bailey Beery won in 18:30.4. Homestead’s Madison Distelrath was second in 18:50.6. Carroll’s Stacey Metzger was third in 19:21.6.

“It was wet,” Beery said. “But it was OK after about the first mile; (the rain) slowed down. But there was certainly a lot of puddles and stuff to navigate. … A lot of the challenge is just mental. You have to fight through it.”

Columbia City’s Samantha Roush was fourth in 19:33.5.

jcohn@jg.net

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