by Clare Lopez-Kaley
It was an exciting and emotional end to what has been an extraordinary year for the Benedictine University Cross Country team.
The men’s and women’s squads set off to make a great showing at the Northern Athletics Conference Championships on Saturday, October 29th at the course at Wisconsin Parkside. Both the men’s and women’s teams excelled on the difficult Parkside course and accomplished some Conference honors along the way.
On the men’s side, the two seniors did not disappoint, with Danny Graham earning an all-conference honor and Tyler Zachary finishing third for the Eagles. Another exceptional performance was by standout runner and freshman, Zeke Timmer. Not only did Timmer have a strong race, but he also earned and all-conference honors as well as being named the Northern Athletics Conference freshmen of the year.
Other accomplishments included honorable mentions by Timmy Bugajsky, Matt Lemming, Hugh Gill and Jason Hantak, as well as freshman Jack Adams being named to the All-Sportsmanship Team. The men’s squad placed third in conference play.
“It was a really great race for all of us,” said Graham. “It was great to have the entire team do so well, especially for us seniors. It is going to be hard to leave the team, but knowing we have such a great squad to lead when we are gone reassures us that the team will be successful for years to come.”
The women’s side also did well at the conference race. Both seniors, Danielle Smith and Megan Kunesh, showed incredible efforts in the race, with Kunesh accomplishing a lifetime personal record. Junior captain Jordan Cart also had a great race along with freshman Julie Carroll.
Along with Cart and Carroll, junior Samantha Harris was among the three women Eagles named with an honorable mention. Sophomore Danielle Dewey had a great race as well and was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team. The women’s team finished fourth in the conference championships.
“It is amazing to see how far the team has come in the past four years,” said Danielle Smith. “We can see all the potential that this team has and how successful they will be in the future. I could not be more proud of all my teammates.”
Next up for both the men’s and women’s squads is the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships in Rock Island, IL on November 12th. Some of the BenU runners will participate in the event.