The Toledo women's cross country team placed 12th at the Paul Short Run on Saturday, Oct. 5, in a premier race that featured five nationally ranked teams. UT had a strong performance despite losing two runners to heat exhaustion in a race that was run in grueling heat and humidity.
Junior Brooke Tullis set the pace for the Rockets, finishing 49th overall with a time of 21:25 in the 6K race. Juniors Megan Wright, Megan Gaysunas and Liza Weiler also finished in the top 100, with finishes of 76th, 80th and 86th, respectively.
"The women's race was really tough for us," head coach Linh Nguyen said. "We had to make a last minute decision to sit MacKenzie (Chojnacky) because of sickness and then we lost both Priscilla (Timmons) and Sharon (Morgan) during the race to heat exhaustion. I'm proud of the women and the way they fought and executed the race plan. Brooke and Megan (Wright) stepped up and helped lead the team when we needed it."
In the men's 8K race, the Rockets finished 41st, with juniors Hillary Serem and Jake Kasperski leading the way. Serem ran a time of 25:28, which was good for 108th overall. Senior Trevin Flickinger also had a strong meet with a time of 26:28.
"I spoke with the men about not getting buried early because it's hard to move up in this race," Nguyen said. "Unfortunately, that's what happened and we were playing catch up the entire race. The field is too big to make that kind of mistake and recover. We didn't run terrible, but could definitely be better. Trevin and Nick (Brenner) both ran well and helped the team."
Junior Jackie Koza came away with a personal record, finishing 15th in the women's open 6K race and senior Devyn Ramsay finished 27th.
Many teams experienced heat-related emergencies on the day, forcing the meet to get cancelled shortly following the Rockets' race.
The cross country teams race again on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the NCAA Pre-National Meet.