Guilford on the run: cross country teams begin competition

Guilford opens a new season of cross country this fall with both men’s and women’s teams. Each team consists of six players coached by Scott Smith.
Guilford has not had a men’s cross country team since its NCAA membership 13 years ago and this year will mark the first-ever women’s team.
Cross country is one of three new sports added to Guilford to bring our numbers up in terms of equity from a conference standpoint said Coach Smithy. Cost was not a factor in creating a cross country team because all that are needed are shirt, shorts, and shoes.
The length of the run for women is 5k, which is a little over 3 miles, and the men run 8k, which is almost 5 miles. The conference run is 6 miles.
Both teams were rated ninth in the ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) poll, putting them at the bottom according to the web page posted by Guilford’s Athletic department.
Being placed ninth in the poll has not kept Coach Smith from feeling positive about the season and his team members.
“We’ve got a great group of kids,” he said. “I came across something that is really neat: From nobodies to upstarts, from upstarts to contenders, from contenders to winners, from winners to champions, from champions to dynasty.”
As far as expectations go, Coach Smith said. “I want to go out and improve at every meet, stick together, and I think we have the ability to sneak up and surprise some people.”
Coach Smith’s optimism is shared by the cross country members.
“I am really excited, It’s really cool being a part of something my first year,” said freshman Stephanie Boczenowski.
The first meet was Sept. 11, hosted by Washington and Lee. First-year Kendra Potter led the Quaker women in the individual finish, ranking 22nd, and senior Bo White placed 13th in the same category.
The cross country teams are scheduled to compete in the North Carolina State Invitational Saturday, Sept. 18, in Cary, N.C.