WC men 7th, women 13th at Eagle Invitational

WARRENVILLE, Ill. – The Wilmington College men’s cross country team finished seventh Friday at the Eagle Invitational hosted by Benedictine University.

On the women’s side, the Fighin’ Quakers finished with 316 points. The University of Chicago won the 20-team invitational with 48 points.

Blanchester High School graduate Savannah Rhodes was the top Quaker to finish, doing so in 39th place with a time of 25:14.6.

Allison Helmke crossed the finish line next, completing the six-kilometer course in 26:25.2 for a 97th place finish.

The WC trio of Clinton-Massie grad Katie Hughes (27:00.2), Kendra Stahl (27:39.4) and Kelly Rice (27:53.4) rounded out Wilmington’s top five with all three recording sub-28:00 times.

“Today was our best race of the year,” WC coach Ron Combs said. “We did a better job with our pack time 1-5. I’m excited about the improvement we have made the last month.”

In the men’s race, North Central College, the top-ranked team in NCAA Div. III, won the invitational with 66 points. The Fightin’ Quakers finished with 179 points.

Individually, WC’s Evan Whitaker finished in 13th place with a time of 26:26.3.

Cameron Phelps placed 38th in 27:00.2. Along with Phelps, Gage Clemens (27:19.3), Clinton-Massie grad Jacob Whitaker (27:53.8) and Ryan Honkomp (27:57.2) all recorded sub-28:00 times on the eight-kilometer course.

“I thought the men ran great as we had a good pack for the second week in a row,” Combs said. “Evan [Whitaker] ran a great race near the front.”

Wilmington will compete at home next week by hosting the Jenna Strong Invitational on Friday.