Pioneers battle through grueling Hanover course at HCAC Cross Country Championships

Pioneers battle through grueling Hanover course at HCAC Cross Country Championships

Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania cross country team competed in the 2016 edition of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference cross country championships, hosted by Hanover College on Saturday afternoon.

The men's side of the cross country program competed in an 8K distance race, while the Transylvania women took off in a 6K race, competing on what was termed by many as "an unseasonably hot" afternoon in late October of better than 70 degrees at the start of the early afternoon races.

The Transylvania women were led by senior Cora Kerber, who led her Pioneer peers in the 6K, placing in the top-30 in a time of 26:43.21. Finishing second on the Pioneers was junior Riley Bresnahan, who checked in at 39th overall against the field of more than 100 female competitors from around the HCAC. Sophomore Rebecca Facktor closely tracked Bresnahan, clocking in at 27:23.33 to finishing within the top-40 for the Pioneers.

The rest of the running order for the Pioneers consisted of junior Elizabeth Deaton, freshman Jennai Mitchell, sophomore Sadie Middleton, freshman Alex Voelker, freshman Ashley Dragan, and junior Melanie Peterson.

The Pioneers finished seventh out of 10 teams on the women's side to complete the final HCAC-affiliated event of the season.  

"The youngsters did awesome today," said cross country head coach Heidi Pinkerton on what was a challenging afternoon for the Pioneers in terms of conditions and health. "This is a tough course that we've seen before, and it was hot as well, but everyone stepped up and moved up."

In the men's 8K race, the Pioneers were led by senior Evan Reister, who finshed his run in 30:18.02. Freshman Jordan Hancock completed his solid opening collegiate campaign with a time of 31:40.47. The Pioneers' top-three of the afternoon was sealed by freshman Michael Clore, who crossed the line in 31:43.56. The men's team placed eighth out of the 10 competing HCAC programs.

"We're looking forward to regions," said Pinkerton. "Compared to what we faced here, that course (in Holland, Michigan) is a super-fast course and we're aiming to finish with some great PRs there."

The Pioneers will send their top-seven racers each from the men's and women's teams to Holland, Michigan in two weekends for the NCAA Cross Country regionals, hosted by Hope College. That race takes place on Saturday, November 12.

For more on Transylvania cross country, follow their official twitter @TransylvaniaXCTF