Men’s and Women’s cross country off to a racing start

Both the men’s and women cross country teams performing well midway through the season, pacing well towards defending their ODAC Championships in October

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info.

Jimmie Johnson

n’s cross country team won the overall team championship at the Hornet Harrier/Commonwealth Challenge on Sept. 22, while the men’s team placed fourth at the Queen City invitational on Sept. 28.

The women had an outstanding showing at the meet, as they had two individual winners and won two team races in route to the overall team championship. The team placed first out of 12 teams in the 5K race with 43 points.  Samantha Yates, ‘19, led the Generals by placing first in the meet with a new personal best and course record. Captain Maggie Seybold, ‘19, finished third.

In the 6K, the Generals were paced by Katie Bearup, ‘20, and Kirsten McMichael, ‘19, who finished first and second respectively.

Seybold said the team, which is the largest in program history, is playing to the Generals’ advantage this season.

“This year, one of the team’s biggest strengths is our depth,” she said. “Last weekend, we were able to be so successful, because our team was big enough to split up and win the 5K and 6K races to take home the overall award.”

Two women having a great start of the season are both Yates and Seybold. The team is excited to have both back returning to normal form after being injured for most of the cross country season last year.

“[Yates and Seybold] are two individuals who add a ton of talent to the team, so we are very excited to have them back running and healthy,” Bearup said.

The men’s team had a solid showing at the Queen City invitational led by Hank Patrick, ‘19, who finished 22 out of 250 runners. He was followed by Ethan Bernstein. ‘22, who finished 30th and captain Austin Kinne, ‘20, who finished 36th.

Head Coach Brandon Spalding said he likes where the team is midway through the season.

“The team is in a great spot,” he said. “Workouts have now progressed towards specific race paces, and we are beginning to see solid results each week. This has given the team a lot of confidence heading into October and championship season.”

The team has high goals this year, as they look to tie the program record for most consecutive ODAC Championships with four. In addition, the team is focusing on having a good performance at the regional championship and potentially earning a team spot at Nationals, Patrick said.

Spalding said Kinne, Patrick and Alex Dolwick, ‘19, are all men to watch out for this season.

“Those three have been training at 80-90 miles a week for the first five to six weeks of the season. Their hard work will certainly help carry the team deep into championship season,” Spalding said.

The women will return to the race course on Oct. 13 at the Connecticut College Invitational and Gettysburg Invitational, while the men will return to competition Oct. 13 at the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational and Gettysburg Invitational.