Cross country teams kick off season in high gear

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Cross country teams kick off season in high gear

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info

Photo courtesy of W&L Sports Info

Kathryn Young

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Men’s XC

The Generals Men’s Cross Country team started out their season on the right foot, placing first in the ODAC Preview Meet and second in the Dickinson Invitational.

Before the meet, the team was selected first in the ODAC Preseason Poll with 98 total points and eight first place votes, beating out second-place Bridgewater by eight points.

Despite the accolades and the early success, the Generals are being cautious about getting too caught up in the hype. Instead, the team is changing its focus towards meets later on in the season, and ultimately towards another ODAC title run.

“[We are] delaying our harder training until later in the season, so it is more of a refining or sharpening type of training,” said Calvin Riss, ‘19.

The team returns 11 runners from last year’s championship team, adding just one first-year to the roster. The Generals return four of the five point scorers from last year’s team, including the top two runners, Ian McDonald, ‘17, and Mac Strehler, ‘17. Both McDonald and Strehler received First Team All-ODAC Honors last season. The Generals also return Alex Dolwick, a sophomore who received Second Team All-ODAC accolades.

Strehler paced the Generals in both races, placing fifth out of 81 runners in the 5k Dickinson Invitational, and placing first overall in the ODAC Preview Meet.

The boys took four of the top five finishes at the ODAC Preview Meet, with MacKenzye Leroy, ‘18, taking second place, and Cooper Baird, ‘19, and Riss taking third and fifth, respectively.

Women’s XC

After winning the ODAC Championship last season, and producing two NCAA National Qualifiers, the women’s cross country team is ready to hit the ground running.

Selected first in the ODAC Preseason Coach’s Poll, the Generals obliterated the competition, receiving 11 of the 12 first place votes, and beating out second pick Bridgewater by 17 points.

This year, the women return all of their top five scorers from last season, including four All-ODAC honorees. Maggie Seybold, ‘19, and Samantha Yates, ‘19, both received First Team All-ODAC honors, and were national qualifiers and Yates was selected Rookie of the Year for the ODAC. The Generals also return Rachel Steffen, ‘18, and Lily Arnold, ‘18, who received Second Team All-ODAC accolades last fall.

The roster contains 10 runners from 2015 Championship team, as well as five first-year runners.

“We have some amazing new freshmen and the possibilities going forward look great,” Seybold said.  Though it is still early on in the year, Seybold says that the team is “very excited” with where they are at this point in the season.

The team’s early results have matched Seybold’s enthusiasm, as the team placed second in their first race of the season at the Dickinson Invitational and then placed first at the ODAC Preview Meet. The Generals placed five runners in the top 12 at the meet, including three first-years.

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