Cedarville, OH - First year head coach Brian Yowler could not have asked for a better experience for his youthful Geneva cross country team. Both the men′s and women′s teams managed to qualify for the NCCAA national cross country meet and on Saturday each team got the opportunity to compete on the national stage. The men′s team brought home an 11th place finish out of 23 schools while the women managed to finish ninth out of 19 competing schools.
"We had a goal for each of our teams to finish in the top ten," explained Yowler. "The women managed to reach that goal and the guys came up just short. I could not be more pleased with the effort from all of our student-athletes. This has been a tremendous experience for all of us and will hopefully pay huge dividends in the future." To say Geneva′s cross country teams are young is a major understatement. Other than senior Heather Austin on the women′s team, every other member on the men′s and women′s squads will return for 2010. Despite the youthfulness, the Golden Tornadoes performed quite well at the NCCAA nationals.
It men′s action, Geneva posted 366 total points with five runners finishing in the top 100 out of 162 racers. Nick Edinger led the Golden Tornadoes with a 47th place finish and a time of 28:23 on the 8K course. Ryan Thorn finished 62nd overall in a time of 28:55. Other top finishers on the men′s side included Dan Edgar (75), Josh Gunnett (88) and Nate Mansor (94).
Geneva′s women performed tremendously on Saturday with a ninth place overall finish with 311 total points. Freshman Shannon Rech finished 35th to lead the team with a personal best time of 19:57 for her first ever sub-20:00 minute performance. Olivia Biddle may have put together Geneva′s best performance of the day with a 55th place finish and a personal best time of 20:49. Other top five finishes for Geneva included Julia Urbanski (67), Samantha Miller (72) and Emily Hoobler (82).
Malone College won the NCCAA national championship on the men′s side with a total of 36 points while host Cedarville took first place in women′s action with a mark of 40 points.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).