Both Otterbein men’s and women’s cross-country teams won Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) titles this past weekend.
Otterbein women have won their fourth-straight league title. Only Baldwin Wallace University has managed to win the OAC championship four years in a row in the last 20 years.
A key runner, Heather Sandvik, was out with an injury, but senior Claire Lamb said, "I think we did a really good job in keeping our mindset and realizing that just because she’s not there, that we don’t have the team depth to make up for that. And we do. We have a very good team to make up for that."
The men's team was ranked sixth in the conference but saw improvement with the transfer of juniors Chase Hampton and Max Hoffman.
“We just really felt like this was our year. I think what makes our team so special was that everyone came in focused on what we could do as a team,” said junior Jacob Thompson. Thompson was second team All-OAC with an 18th place win, right in front of freshman teammate Jason Mehalic.
Thompson said that while the men's team has talent and that they run for each other, it doesn’t feel that they have hit their full stride yet.
“The team’s going to be its best when every individual is at their best. The team is filled with passionate guys who have put in the work but not overtrained, which I feel has been the problem for some, but I do not feel like we’ve had that day where everyone is at their fullest potential,” said Thompson.
Both Lamb and Thompson said they are looking forward to regionals, which take place in two weeks. They are confident that both teams will qualify for nationals, and Thompson said that the men’s team will have reached their goals with a top-10 placement at nationals.
“We've just got to go out and take care of business,” said Thompson.