WILMINGTON — Led by Wilmington High School graduate Simon Heys, the Wilmington College men’s cross country team had the top three finishers Friday at the ninth annual JennaStrong Fall Classic cross country meet.
The Quakers were on top for the second consecutive year but this time the victory was different. For the first time, Wilmington went 1-2-3 on its home turf in the Fall Classic.
The squad scored 67 points and was trailed by runners from Miami University in second with 80 points and Cedarville third with 163 points.
On the women’s side, junior Milena Wahl was fourth overall in 19:11.2. The women were 12th in the team standings.
Wahl’s personal-best time paced the day for the Quakers. She finished 16 seconds faster from last season as well as six spots better. Bella Stevens was 80th in 22:33 while AJ Houseman (23:20) and Julia Bystrom (23:43) were next in line. Kaitlyn Rauch rounded out the scoring for the Quakers.
“It was another great JennaStrong Fall Classic,” WC head coach Ron Combs said. “I am excited about the progression our team is making as we get closer to the championship meets. The atmosphere on our course today was amazing.
“It was amazing to see all the (athletic) teams from our campus on the course cheering on our team. It is truly unique and a compliment to our teams and coaches. We never go anywhere where that happens.”
The Quaker men led from the gun as Heys, George Rickett and Noah Tobin were packed together a mile into the race. Heys pulled away for his second win of the season in 24:29. Rickett climbed the ranks as he claimed second place in a personal best time of 24:54. Rickett improved by more than a minute in the same race from last season and placed five spots better.
Tobin, a previous OAC Runner of the Week, climbed eight spots from last year with a third place finish in 24:58.
For the first time this season, the Quakers had three runners under the 25-minute mark for an 8,000-meter race.
Eric Reynolds (26:02) and Jackson Nagle (27:12) rounded out the scoring five for the squad.
The Quakers prepare for the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Championships on Oct. 29.