The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The future is bright for men’s cross country

(Patrick Childs)

Going into the National Collegiate Atheltic Association (NCAA) Regional meet on Nov. 13, the men’s cross country team displayed a low-key confidence.

“We’re a close-knit team that is highly motivated to do well,” said first-year runner David Cason. “We always motivate each other and create a competitive atmosphere — it really helps the team do better.”

Teammate first-year Chad Norton agreed.

“I really enjoy the support of the guys — they keep pushing you to do better,” said Norton. “We have really good team chemistry.”

The chemistry the runners possess is only one of the many reasons for their success this season.

Quietly, the men’s cross country team is having one of the best seasons in a long time. Previously, their best conference finish was sixth. This season, they finished in second, only behind perennial powerhouse Lynchburg College in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

What made this season special for the Quaker runners is that eight out of the top 10 runners on the team are first-years.

This year, with all the first-years, the team still consistently proved they are a force to be reckoned with.

The team came in second in the ODAC based on the conference meet with four out of the top five runners that placed in the top 16 overall were first-years. They had a school record — three all-conference runners in junior Derek Kosgei, Norton, and Cason. Finally, the team had the ODAC runner of the year in Kosgei.

“We have good capable runners that have the potential for great things to happen,” said Norton. “We all continue to develop as runners by training with solid runners.”

Part of this motivation came from the coaching of head coach Bill Cason. He clarified that although young, the team displayed maturity throughout the season by running through tough courses. Bill also explained that the team is goal-oriented.

“The team has been running 60 to 80 miles a week since mid June,” said Bill. “The races are a break from the rigorous training they go through. Race day is an easy day for them.”

Bill enjoys the group of runners on the team, especially because of the hard training his runners took part in.

“They’re a good group of guys and a really good group of runners,” said Cason. “Training with a solid group of runners makes their work ethic better.”

Norton agreed with what Bill taught him and his teammates.

“Coach and the staff really work to the strengths of us runners,” said Norton. “They know what they are doing while keeping us loose at the same time.”

As for the team’s future, it appears bright.

“We’re looking to win the ODAC triple-crown and national exposure in the near future,” said David.

When questioned for the interview, a number of the runners were waiting outside of Bill’s office to meet with him. In response to the question, “are you confident going into regional’s on Nov. 13,” Bill got out of his chair and turned to the seven members of the team waiting for him in the lobby and shouted, “You guys confident for regionals?”

For a response he got seven, quiet but confident, “Yes, coach,” for a resounding answer.  

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