TWINSBURG — The Wilmington College men’s cross country team posted a sixth-place finish Saturday in the 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference Championships here at Liberty Park. The finish in the best for the Fightin’ Quakers in six seasons.
Wilmington finished with 152 points as a team, just 11 points behind Heidelberg University for a spot in the top half of the league. Otterbein University claimed the 2019 OAC championship, edging host John Carroll University 41-44.
Evan Whitaker, the reigning OAC Men’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year, was Quakers’ top finisher, placing 13th with a time of 26:19.9. Simon Heys finished two spots behind his teammate, crossing the finish line of the eight-kilometer course in 26:21.7. Both earned second team All-OAC honors for their performances.
Heys is a 2019 Wilmington High School graduate.
Chase Hampton of Otterbein won the individual championship with a time of 25:29.9.
Ryan Honkomp was the third Quaker to cross the finish line in 44th place with an overall time of 27:35.5. George Rickett was Wilmington’s fourth finisher, completing the course in 27:52.2 in 52nd place. Gage Clemens rounded out the Quakers’ scoring with a 60th-place finish and a mark of 28:02.2.
“I think the men’s team is not satisfied with where we finished as a team as we missed our goal going of finishing in the top half of the league,” WC coach Ron Combs said. ” Even still, we were only 11 points out of fourth place. Evan [Whitaker] and Simon [Heys] battled with the best guys in the OAC. We still have the Great Lakes Regional Meet in two weeks. I know we have our best race still left.”
Wilmington will have a week off before heading to the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional hosted by Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Nov. 16.