No. 9 RedStorm bounces Big Red


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande spotted Denison University an early lead, but then proceeded to deliver a big beatdown to the Big Red.

Finn Tomlin and Devon Scriber had two successful tries each and four other players added a score of their own as the RedStorm cruised to a 50-3 victory, Saturday afternoon, in men’s rugby action at Red Valley Pitch.

The RedStorm, who earlier in the week earned a No. 9 ranking in the Small Schools Division of National Collegiate Rugby’s Top 25 poll, improved to 4-0 with the win.

Denison slipped to 1-3 with the loss.

The Big Red took a 3-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes on a kick by Nick Dimmit, but enjoyed very little success after that.

Freshman Solomone Ahoia (Lawndale, CA) followed with a successful try on Rio’s ensuing possession to put the RedStorm in front to stay, before consecutive tries by Tomlin — a sophomore from Georgetown, Ohio — helped extend the lead to 17-3 at the intermission.

Scriber, a freshman from Colorado Springs, Colorado, tallied the first of his two successful tries to begin the second half, while freshmen Cole Espenscheid (Lake St. Charles, MO) and Lazarus Ratuniyaravu (Everett, WA) each scored to extend the lead to 36-3.

Scriber added his final try before sophomore Mason Dishong’s (Reedsville, OH) tacked on his first try of the year.

Senior Caden Harden (Oak Hill, OH) was successful on five of his eight convert attempts for Rio.

Booth captures individual crown at Royals Challenge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — University of Rio Grande senior Cody Booth ran to the championship of the Men’s Blue Division in Friday’s Royals Cross Country Challenge, hosted by Queens University at McAlpine Park.

Booth (New Philadelphia, OH) finished the 8k course in a time of 24:41, which was 37 seconds quicker than runner-up Carter Mckenna of Davis & Elkins (WV).

The event featured 25 teams and 188 individual runners.

Booth’s strong showing — which was more than a minute faster than his previous personal best, in addition to being the third-fastest time in program history — helped Rio Grande post a seventh place finish as a team. The RedStorm tallied 200 points as a team and finished one point behind Brevard (NC) for sixth place.

Davis & Elkins won the team title with 33 points, while Belmont-Abbey and Kentucky Christian rounded out the top three with 119 points each.

Also representing Rio Grande was junior Austin Setty (Fairfield, OH), who was 32nd in a time of 26:51; freshman Danuel Persinger (Glouster, OH), who placed 50th in a time of 27:28; senior Dean Freitag (Magnolia, OH), who placed 55th after crossing in 27:39; freshman Jason Springer (Circleville, OH), who took 73rd place in a finish of 28:09; freshman Matthew Spetnagel (Chillicothe, OH), who was 78th with a finish of 28:28; and sophomore Kyle Lightner (Peebles, OH), who was 87th in a time of 28:49.

In addition to Booth, each of the remaining six Rio runners all set new personal-best marks with their respective finishes. Lightner’s time was nearly five minutes better than his previous best, Springer’s finish was 2:20 faster than his previous PR and Freitag’s mark was 1:15 better than his previous personal best.

McCarthy 3rd in Royals XC Challenge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — University of Rio Grande sophomore Mackenzie McCarthy took third place in the Women’s Blue Division of Friday’s Royals Cross Country Challenge, hosted by Queens University at McAlpine Park.

McCarthy, a native of New Franklin, Ohio, traversed the 5k course in a time of 18:05, finishing behind Jessica Price and Cherise Carreira, who finished in 17:10 and 17:19, respectively. Price ran Unattached and Carreira represented the host school.

McCarthy’s finish set a new personal-record and was 48 seconds faster than her previous PR.

A total of 25 teams and 178 runners took part in the event.

Davis & Elkins (WV) won the team championship with 36 points, while Southern Wesleyan (72 pts.) and Belmont-Abbey (110 pts.) rounded out the top three. Rio Grande ran just four runners and did not post a team score.

In addition to McCarthy, the RedStorm was represented by freshman Jayden Roach (Baltimore, OH), who was 52nd with a time of 21:13; freshman Abrielle Kerns (Lancaster, OH), who took 95th place with a finish of 22:22; and freshman Kara Dillon (Minford, OH), who was 105th after crossing in 22:42.

Roach’s finish was her second-quickest ever and Kerns set a new PR, 26 seconds faster than her previous best.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.