Striding for improvement

Cross-country teams spend summer training


Photo provided

Adam Joseph (left), sophomore, will be one of the returning key members while Salvador Cordova (right) is one of the key members that left the cross country team.

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams will begin their 2018-19 season on Aug. 31 at the St. Francis Invitational in Joliet, Illinois.

Last October, the men’s team finished 11th and the women’s team finished ninth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.

Austin Warner, head coach, said the teams will work toward improving their conference placing this season.

“The returners trained their butts off this summer and our newcomers matched that same work ethic,” Warner said. “This is why I believe both teams are currently in a great position to surprise some teams at conference as well as our other six meets we are competing in this fall.”

Warner said the men’s team has added five freshmen to the roster: Michael Crook, Diego Gomez, Cameron Chapman and Fernando Rosas. He also said returning runner, Adam Joseph, sophomore, will play a key role for the team after the departure of Salvador Cordova, who finished first for the team in five of six meets.

As for the women’s team, Warner said new additions Brendea McNeal, Leah Bass, Angela Gonzalez, and Emily Sarna will compliment returning sophomore’s Jennifer Crague and Allison Tokarz.

The 2017-18 season marked the first year that both teams competed in the GLIAC and NCAA DII competition.

Warner commended the team for their first year in Division II and considered it a major learning experience.

“The GLIAC is one of the most competitive conferences among NCAA Division II, so being able to compete against some very talented teams at the conference level is always an exciting challenge for our program,” Warner said.

Following the first meet of the season on Aug. 31, the teams will host the PNW classic in Westville, Indiana on Sept. 7. Last year, the women’s team placed first and the men’s team placed second overall.