By ELISA DELLE FRATTE
With the season now in full swing, the men’s and women’s cross country teams showed promise for the rest of the 2013 fall season this past weekend at the Dickinson College long and short relays. The men’s team placed eighth out of thirty schools, and the women earned fifth.
With strong new additions to the team and determined returning members, the teams are ready to take on the semester.
The event at Dickinson was the team’s first big invitational where competition soared among the 30 schools in attendance.
Before the Dickinson Invitational, the team attended small meets, but this was the first real invite of the season.
At the meet, the men’s team ran an 8K race and the women’s team ran a 6K race. The two races were used as a standard to see where each team stood and to determine what improvements need to be made before the conference championships.
In the 8K race, top finisher, junior Julian Menk, took 40th place at 27:50. Senior Corey Lyons followed in 58th place at 28:12, and freshman Chris Markham earned 59th at 28:13.
Also in the 8K, freshman Kevin Speray took 73rd place, followed by Jeff Branson in 77th place at 28:36.
For the women running the 6K, juniors Tara Landy and Lauren Braney took 15th and 16th place. Landy finished overall at 23:15 and Braney finished at 23:18.
Joining the ladies, freshman Victoria Parent took 44th overall at 25:21, junior Trinity Smyth finished 47th at 25:32 and sophomore Sam Park placed 53rd at 25:48.
Both teams will focus this season to improve upon last year’s finish at the NCAA Regional Championship.
“It is still a little early in the season to tell how they will do because injuries can be a factor, but as of right now, they are very capable,” said head cross country coach, Stan Soper. “I feel very encouraged by the group.”
According to Soper, freshmen Victoria Parent, Beth Lindenblad and Claudia Autore show a lot of promise this season.
Ian Granger, Chris Sandoval, Kevin McCarthy, and Markham are also freshman showing promise for the men’s team, according to Soper.
Sophomore Kevin Speray who runs on the men’s team, said in addition to focusing on improving at conference championships, the team will focus on good sportsmanship this season.
“The team motto is ‘let’s have fun and let’s be nice.’ The team is a support group, so we want to stay positive and also remember to have fun.”