By: James Dronzek – Staff Writer
The Dayton cross country program continued its hot streak in preparation for arguably the most important event yet this season, the NCAA Pre-National Event.
Both the men’s and women’s teams took home first place in the All-Ohio Championship at Cedarville University on Sept. 29, the men in the 8K race and the women in the 6K.
“Our plan was to go in, run how we usually do, and knock it out of the park,” said sophomore Chloe Flora.
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Flora finished in first in the women’s race with a time of 20:59, while junior Taylor Vernot (2nd place), senior Emily Leonard (3rd place), junior Emily Borchers (6th place), and senior Grace McDonald (7th place) rounded out the Flyers’ top five to give them a team score of 19.
As for the men, junior Chris Negri, junior Spencer Danielson, and senior Tyler Adgalanis all finished within ten seconds of each other to take the top three spots in their race. Sophomore JP Flavin and junior Jordan Koczenasz took the 6th and 8th spots, respectively, giving Dayton a top score of 20.
Despite facing lighter competition in All-Ohio compared to previous races this season, the Flyers were determined to go out and get another win.
“We are always trying to keep a level head, especially going into events where we will face a level of competition that we haven’t seen before this season,” said Danielson.
With the toughest task of the season thus far coming up, the Flyers needed to stay in stride. In the Pre-National Event, the men will participate in the 8K and the women will run in the 5K.
Coach Jason Ordway has been working with both teams in the two week period between events to get the best out of his runners in an event where the Flyers will race against some of the best cross country programs in the nation.
“We’ve set goals to help us get to this point and we are rising to the challenge,” said Ordway. “We have realistic goals going into our next race, so as long as we keep a level head and continue our work ethic, we can continue to build.”
Both sides of the program are ranked 8th in the latest Great Lakes regional poll, and they will be going out to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday to try to prove they are deserving of such high praise.
Photo courtesy of Krystal Warren/Dayton Athletics Communications