Hannah Oneda and Max Robinson led their respective teams to a sweep of the NCAA Division 3 Mideast Regional Championship in Bethlehem, PA. The race was hosted by Muhlenberg College and run at Lehigh University.
For those who do not follow or understand cross country scoring (where the five places on a team are tallied and the lowest score wins), it is difficult to illustrate the magnitude of the women’s team victory. JHU finished 2-3-4-5-12 for a total of only 26 place points. Even if the other 51 teams in the race were combined as a single team, with the race scored as a dual meet, Hopkins would have won 26-31. This regional victory would be like a World Series game with a score of 25-1, or an NBA game of 145-22.
Oneda – a sophomore All-American from Westminster – was the top finisher for the Blue Jays, finishing second in the regional race to Lebanon Valley College’s Kelsey Patrick. The winning time over six kilometers was 21:00; Oneda clocked in at 21:11. Closely behind were Holley Clarke (21:16), Frances Loeb (21:23), and Annie Monagle (21:25). Completing the scoring was freshman Tess Meehan in 12th place at 21:48, followed immediately one second and one place later by senior Abby Flock.
The regional win was actually the sixth consecutive for the Hopkins women, though last year the team tallied 67 points in the victory. Coach Bobby Van Allen said on the JHU athletics site:
“They’re a little more ahead of pace compared to this point last season. Today’s race was just a testament to how much they drive off of each other. Tess [Meehan] and Abby [Flock] had personal best times as our fifth and sixth finishers, and it just shows how well we ran across the board.”
The Hopkins men had a closer race, posting however a definitive victory with a 26-point margin over Dickinson College 62-88, with Haverford College placing third in 106. This 1-2-3 order for Centennial Conference schools replicated the finish in the recent league meet – vindicating again the vaulting of the Blue Jays men over their rivals in the last national rankings.
Senior Max Robinson again led the way with a seventh place finish in 24:53, while sophomore Schaffer Ochstein was eighth in the same time. The seven Hopkins men finished 7-8-10-18-19-33-50 in a total field of 54 schools and 364 runners. Six of the seven JHU men recorded their best 8k (roughly 5 miles) times ever.
The regional championship was the first ever for the Hopkins men’s cross country team. As with the women, they will complete in the national championships next Saturday in Hanover, Indiana. The women will come into the meet as the strong favorites to win the national title as they did just last year, whereas the men will run into some very powerful Midwest XC programs. But each team seems to be peaking at the perfect time.