Cover photo courtesy of Dayton Athletics
The Dayton Flyer Women’s Cross Country team topped 34 other colleges, taking home first place in the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships in Cedarville, Ohio on Sept. 28.
It’s been a heated season for the women’s cross country team that also competed in the Queen City Invitational, placing second, the Friendship Invitational, placing sixth, and the National Catholic Invitational, placing second.
“This season thus far has given the team many opportunities to test our strengths and identify areas to improve upon,” senior Kaci Bornhorst said. “The women have really stepped up at every competition.”
She credited the performance and impact of the underclassmen and also of Kelly Wilker, “a standout competitor, winning the A-10 performer of the week twice.” Wilker ran for a personal record of 21:47.5 at the All-Ohio Championships, the 11th best 6k race ever recorded at UD. She has taken top places in every race this season.
Another Dayton runner to keep an eye on is first year Melissa Weidner. She was named A-10 Rookie of the week in her first collegiate 6k race at All-Ohio, finishing 19th out of 284 runners, in 22:55.2. A pack of UD runners including Emily Sreenan, Carlee Constable and Maddie Loughery also supported Dayton’s victory.
“The cross country program has grown in countless ways over my time here. I’ve seen the highs and lows, but overall, the biggest change has been in the team culture,” Bornhorst said. “Coach Ordway encourages us to come into his office regularly, even if its just to chat about life. Among the women, we put an emphasis on building each other up.”
Bornhorst also commented that the program has allowed her to grow.
“UD’s program has helped me grow in ways I could have never expected. I’ve only had one indoor track season (no outdoor seasons) because I’ve been injured every year thus far. Through all of it, my coaches, trainers and teammates have been there for me. My injuries have pushed me to my limits, but ultimately, they have pushed me to continue to commit myself to what I love.”
Asked about how her experience as a UD runner will impact her after graduation, Bornhorst responded with her sense of dedication and her commitment to being part of a support system for people in her life.
On Nov. 2, UD Women’s Cross Country will compete in the Atlantic 10 Championships.