Story by: Colin Gowin
The Blackburn College men's and women's cross country teams competed in their last race of the season on Nov. 1, starting at 10 am with the men's race and the women's race following at 10:45 am. This race took place in St. Louis, Mo. at Forrest Park and was the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Championship.
The day started with the men racing in an eight kilometer race (5 miles). The field of competition was packed with talented runners, including the race winner from Principia College who ran a time of 25:40. Blackburn was led by freshman, Tim Lacy, who ran a time of 29:14, and freshman, Zac Felke,l with a time of 30:40. The team was rounded up by Nathan Speckhart, David Serrano, Noah Daum, Seth Tonsor, Colin Gowin, and Nathan Wagner in that order. "We had a well thought out plan going into the race and it was executed greatly. All of our runners performed at their top level today, and there were even a couple new personal best times," said Head Coach Mark Hopping. The average time of the top five runners for Blackburn was nearly two minutes faster than it was in last season conference championship. Blackburn placed sixth overall as a team and the overall winners were the Golden Eagles from Spalding University.
Next was the women's race which was a six kilometer race (approximately 3.7 miles). Blackburn saw their lone woman runner, Wendy Pocklington compete with a fast group of women. Wendy has been the only woman runner to compete for Blackburn this year, which is a true testament to Wendy's dedication and work ethic. Since Blackburn didn't have 5 or more runners, no team score was given. The overall winners of the race were the Panthers from Greenville College.
With this being the last race of the year, Blackburn must say their goodbyes to senior, Seth Tonsor who has been a part of the cross country program for the past four seasons. "It's been a pleasure to have a student-athlete like Seth on our cross country program for the past four years. He's been a force and an inspiration for the program from the beginning of his time here. I wish him the best of luck moving on into the future," said Head Coach Mark Hopping. Seth will certainly be missed.