Men's Cross Country Claims Top Spot at Wittenberg Invitational

Men's Cross Country Claims Top Spot at Wittenberg Invitational


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Earlham College men's cross country team won its second consecutive meet on Saturday as the Quakers claimed the top spot at the Wittenberg University Invitational.

Earlham finished with 31 team points to clear second-place Denison University by 14 points. Host Wittenberg finished third with 67 points.

"Today was a great win for our team against a field we were eager to prove we could race with," co-head men's cross country coach Rob Hewitt said. "We got into position early and continued to push throughout the entire race."

Senior Gabriel Penk finished second place in the five-kilometer race with a time of 16:14.5, just two tenths of a second behind Charles Rodeheffer of Wittenberg. After Emmanuel Birgens of Central State University took third, the Quakers' freshmen duo of Nate Papachristos and Noah Scherf crossed the finish line. Papachristos finished his first collegiate five-kilometer race in 16:45.8 while Scherf had a time of 16:50.5.

"Gabe [Penk]'s effort set the tone up front, and the rest of the guys reacted well to his lead," Hewitt continued. "Noah Scherf made a big stride forward to really strengthen the middle of our lineup."

Freshman Bineyam Tumbo (17:14.0) and sophomore Oliver Daniel (17:26.5) solidified Earlham's victory with ninth and 11th place finishes respectively.

Earlham has a week off before traveling to Purdue University for the Indiana Intercollegiate Meet on Friday, Sept. 15.

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