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Saturday, October 14, 2000 -- Buckhannon, WV
The Wesleyan College Cross Country Team presents the...
2000 Bobcat Classic
Story and photos by Julie Black

[1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]
Results: [Open] [Collegiate Women] [Collegiate Men]
Pictures: Open [Set 1] [Set 2] Men [Set 1] [Set 2] Women [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3]

2000 Bobcat Classic
Wesleyan's scenic XC course
The WV Wesleyan Bobcats were blessed once again with a beautiful day for their annual Bobcat Classic. Their home cross country course is located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, and it lives up to a true XC course. With footbridges, some tough uphill climbs, and a pathway all on matted grass, this classic was surely something to see.

The event was kicked off with an open 5K, which had over 30 runners, many of them were new faces to the Buckhannon hillside. The word about this great race must have gotten around. Still, it was no surprise to see a nice crowd of happy racers, because after the open 5K the college competition was ready to take on Bobcat Mountain.

2000 Bobcat Classic
True XC to a tee in Buckhannon
The finishing times for this year's 5K were very fast, almost 2 minutes faster than last year's. Blazing out in front from the very start was Andrew Weishaar, with Jonathan Wright on his tail. Weishaar held a steady pace on the hills to claim 1st overall with an amazing time of 16:08. That's a great time for this course, which has a huge hill and many rolling sections on soft ground included in it's layout.

Wright(16:14), closed the gap to just 6 seconds to claim 2nd. Running a strong race as well was Adam Brantner(16:23), who rounded out the top spots at 3rd.

For the ladies, Tonya Smith(25:46), snagged 1st ahead of Aurora Spang & Becky Davis, two friends who always finish with big smiles as they hold hands. When the open race wound down, it was time to watch the college kids duke it out.

2000 Bobcat Classic
The start of the Men's Race

Men's Collegiate 8K Run
Coaches, parents, and grandparents lined the spectator friendly course at every turn. Ready to watch the dirt fly, and the sweat roll, the fans cheered as over 50 young men took off through the field with the sun at their backs. FSC's Bob Casteel pulled off to an early lead, ending up toe to toe with U of T's Patrick Doyle in the first 1/2 lap. Waiting to make his move was the 1st WV finisher from the 2000 Greater Clarksburg 10K, Mikey Guinn of AB.

2000 Bobcat Classic
Mikey Guinn sets the pace
Guinn pulled ahead of Doyle near the end of the 1st lap and never looked back at he set the pace for the rest of the race. Mikey Guinn finished 1st overall in the 8K with a time of 25:44.

Patrick Doyle(25:58), held his own, and kept his strides high, finishing 2nd. Bob Casteel held onto 3rd and crossed the line with a time of 26:17.

Team AB finished at the top of the podium with 38 points, with WVWC (58 pts), claiming 2nd on the their homecourse. CON swept 3rd place with 81 points.

2000 Bobcat Classic
Julie Zickefoose battles a CAL runner to the line

Women's Collegiate 5K Run
With a recent win at the 2000 WVIAC Track & Field Meet, the WVWC women were anxious to do well on their home turf. The competition was certainly tough, with WVU showing up to strut their stuff as well.

Over 55 women trampled off in a tight pack after the gun was fired. Off to a hefty lead was WVU freshman Petra Meier. Meier kept up her lead for most of the 5K, until Wesleyan's WVIAC Track Athlete of the Year & Rookie of the Year, Beth Gooden, decided to use her Bobcat sneak technique. Gooden turned on the speed in the last 1/2 mile and overtook Meier.

2000 Bobcat Classic
Wesleyan Women's Track Team
Extending the gap to nearly 19 seconds, Beth Gooden blazed over the line in 18:57. Petra Meier(19:15), finished a strong 2nd. Rounding out the top spots for the ladies was another WVWC track star, Julia Kirby(19:24). The Bobcats claimed the overall team win with 46 points, AB finished 2nd with 53, and FSU took home 3rd with 58 pts.

It was a great day to run in WV, and thanks to the Bobcats, it was an exciting day as well! Don't miss this event in 2001.

Many Special Thanks...Goes out to Wesleyan's Head Track Coach:
Jesse Skiles who's been honored as the WVIAC Coach of the Year. Congrats Jesse!