This past weekend at the North Coast Athletic Conference championships, the Ohio Wesleyan men’s and women’s cross country teams competed well, and saw some specific star performances.
Juniors Sharif Kronemer and Kale Booher finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Not only did they win first-team All-NCAC honors, but their performances also were the best ever for the Ohio Wesleyan’s men’s cross country team in any NCAC championship.
“They are establishing themselves as one of the best duos in school history,” Coach Matt Wackerly notes.
Earlier in the season, Kronemer had an injury scare, a possible stress fracture in his foot. But after he “gained [his] momentum back,” Kronemer felt stronger and eager for competition.
As predicted, senior Kat Zimmerly had a standout performance for the women’s team. She finished in second place, which was the best finish for an Ohio Wesleyan runner since 1988.
“She ran as she always does, with a passion and determination that inspires her teammates and the coaching staff,” says Wackerly.
Zimmerly took a very humble stance on her win. “I know that I have much to owe Bishop runners that have come before me. I would not be here if they had not built the cross country program to its current stature. I just feel fortunate to have made an impact on the history of the sport at OWU, and my greatest wish would be to serve as a platform for future generations,” she says.
Overall the men finished third of nine and the women tied for fourth place of seven. Other standout performances came from freshman Cara DeAngelis, who finished in fifth place, the best performance by a freshman from Ohio Wesleyan since 1988. She also earned first-team All-NCAC honors.
The team is now preparing for the regional championships on
Saturday, November 13. Wackerly hopes the men’s team will qualify for the NCAA championships, which would require a top-4 finish in the regional meet. Last year, men’s team finished in sixth place, the best regional finish for Ohio Wesleyan since 1981.
Kronemer is very confident in his team. “There is no doubt in my mind that next Saturday we will show the region we are a national-caliber team,” he says.
Zimmerly is hoping to qualify for the NCAA championships, as well. “I want to go out with a bang. … I want to go to Nationals,” she says. Individually, Zimmerly needs to finish in the top 7 to qualify. “If you allow room for doubt, you will not succeed in this sport,” she says.