Ohio State’s cross country teams set high goals for their performance at the NCAA Championship meet, but both fell short.
Placing 21st out of 31 teams, the men’s cross country team missed its goal by only one position and that position by one point. Even without making its goal, the team still considers this year a major success.
“I thought that we had a great championship season,” coach Robert Gary said after the race. “Jeff [See] receiving All-American honors certainly led the way. He has been phenomenal for us all year, and his cross country success should serve him well for the upcoming track season.”
With the impending loss of senior Jeff See, the future of the men’s program will fall on the shoulders of this season’s underclassmen.
Three of the runners on OSU’s men’s team are freshman and two are sophomores, leaving uncertainty in the midst of this year’s successful season. Gary is optimistic about next season.
“I am very excited for what the future holds for our team,” he said.
The women’s team had a rough day, finishing 29th out of 31 teams. Their goal prior to the meet was to finish within 17th to 25th place.
“While 29th was not the goal, we will take it,” coach Chris Neal said. “This was the first NCAA appearance for most of our women and this race gave them some needed experience. I am happy with the season and am very happy with my team.”
Senior Katie Williams is the only runner not returning next year, leaving six of the seven runners from the championship meet on the roster for next season.
“[Williams] has really given us a lot of life and a great positive attitude,” Neal said. “My hope is that Katie, even though she will not be running for us next year, will stay involved with this program.”
OSU is recruiting hard to make a few additions to next season’s roster in hopes of a similarly successful season next year.
With the overall success of this season, Neal hopes the NCAA Championship meet, the first in the team history, will be a stepping stone to an increasingly successful future.