JCU Women’s Cross Country rumbles to first place finish at Inter-Regional Rumble


JCU Sports Information Department

Erica Esper ’23 racing in the Oberlin Rumble last weekend for the Blue and Gold.

Ashley McCall, Sports Editor

The John Carroll Women’s Cross Country team finished in first place at the Inter-Regional Rumble in Oberlin, OH at Oberlin College on Sat., Oct. 15 as they continue to add to their successful season. 

Competing against teams spanning across the Divisions, the Blue Streaks’ team finished in first place in the Women’s 6k Invite. 

“The team was ecstatic,” said Erica Esper ‘23. “I remember asking our assistant coach, Bryce Basista, if we won right after the race. He smiled and nodded and a rush of excitement came over me. We went into the race ranked the first place team and we knew we needed to capitalize on it.”

Esper led the way for the Blue and Gold, finishing in seventh place with a final time of 22:14.9. 

Graduate student Cameron Bujaucius was next in for John Carroll as she earned an eleventh place finish (22:35.4). Morgan Edwards ‘25 was right behind her coming in just two minutes after the graduate student and finishing in twelfth place (22:37.1). 

During this race, Edwards beat her personal record by almost a full minute from the Pre-Nationals Invite held two weeks ago as she continues on her breakout season.

“Pack running was the key factor in our success,” explained Esper. “Going in, the plan was to race selflessly for and with each other. Cam (Bujaucius), Morgan (Edwards), and I worked together, and so did the trio of Abby (Schroff), Jen (Massucci) and Amanda (Keim). In doing so, we were able to score all five girls in the top 21.”

The Blue Streaks continued their winning ways as they finished in second place in the Women’s Open 6k, falling right behind Division II school, Malone University. 

Carlee Blakenship ‘26 finished in eleventh place during the open where she earned her personal best of 24:01.5, improving by 52.6 seconds from two weeks prior. 

Placing 24th, 25th and 26th respectively was Cassie Klein ‘26, Emma Hvizdos ‘26 and Katy Fellenstein ‘23 for John Carroll, contributing to the team victory. 

The team before the race at the Oberlin Rumble. (JCU Sports Information Department)

“This race will boost the team moving forward into the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships by elevating our confidence and giving us momentum,” continued Esper. “We know we are a strong team and this race proved that.”

Up next, the Blue and Gold will travel to Agnes Moorehead Farm in New Concord, OH on Sat., Oct. 29 for the OAC Championships where they will look to build on the momentum from this weekend.