CM grad Hughes first among WC women at Earlham

RICHMOND, Ind. – Evan Whitaker finished first in the Wilmington College cross country team’s season-opening men’s dual meet at Earlham College Friday evening.

Whitaker finished the five-kilometer race in 16:34.6, beating the field by more than three seconds.

For the WC women, Clinton-Massie graduate Katie Hughes finished the four-kilometer race in fifth place with a time of 17:28.3. Allison Helmke (18:05.6) was seventh, Blanchester graduate Savannah Rhodes (19:02.1) was eighth and Kendra Stahl (19:10.4) ran ninth while Jenna Kostecki (19:36.5) was the fifth Fightin’ Quaker to cross the finish line.

Earlham, which had the top four individual finishes, won the women’s meet as a team with 16 points while Wilmington had 40 points. Ana Sosa-Ebert won the meet individually with a time of 15:58.8.

“Katie [Hughes] has looked really good the first two weeks of the season and has tremendous upside,” WC coach Ron Combs said. “We have a lot of freshmen, but we are excited about the future of the program.”

Wilmington has a week off before traveling to the Cedarville University Invitational Sept. 15.

Back on the men’s side, Earlham’s Bineyam Tumbo and Noah Scherf finished second and third respectively while WC’s Hunter Stith (17:11.1) was fourth and Cameron Phelps (17:11.9) fifth overall.

The fourth and fifth Fightin’ Quakers to finish were Gage Clemens (17:28.7) in ninth place and Austin Wampler (17:41.6) in 13th place.

As a team, Wilmington finishes second to Earlham with 31 points while the hosts had 26 points.

“The men put themselves in a position to win the race about halfway through,” Combs said. “We just didn’t quite finish it out. Despite the result, I’m really happy with Evan Whitaker’s performance to win the race. His upside his huge.”