Cross Country Teams Turn it Top Performances at Nationals

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Cedarville, OH - Brian Yowler has been the head coach for the Geneva College cross country team for two years. His goal has always been to watch his program improve with each practice, with each day, with each week and with each year. So far it is mission accomplished for the second year head coach as he watched the men′s and women′s teams put together their best performance on the national stage in school history.

Both the men′s and women′s teams qualified for the NCCAA national meet and both teams represented the Golden Tornadoes quite well. The men′s team finished sixth out of 28 schools with a total of 206 points while the women′s team finished sixth out of 21 teams with 222 points.

In men′s action, freshman Jon Shope had the performance of the season with a tenth place overall finish in a time of 26:54. Shope garnered NCCAA All-American honors as one of the top 20 runners in the race. Teammates Ryan Thorn (37) and Nick Edinger (47) each finished in the top 50 with Owen Struck coming close with a 52nd place position.

For the women, Julia Urbanski was Geneva′s top finisher with a 27th place spot with teammates Shannon Rech (38) and Alayna Merkle (46) also giving strong performances. Sarah Davis and Samanther Miller each cracked the top 70 with 59th and 65th place finishes respectively.

"This was a great way for our teams to end the season," said Yowler. "It has been a long, hard fall for some of our runners, but they all got a taste of what it takes to be successful. Hopefully, we will build off of these positive results and continue to move forward."

Cedarville took first place in the men′s event while Malone University won the women′s meet with 46 total 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).