Two cross country runners compete on national level

Two+cross+country+runners+compete+on+national+level

Courtesy of Guilford Athletics

Running. One of the most basic, but most grueling and competitive of all sports. It turns out that Guilford College has three of the best runners in the South/Southeast region, which spans from Texas to Tennessee. This season, two of them went on to compete at the national level.

Juniors Andris Goncarovs, Chad Norton, and David Cason won All-South/Southeast Region Team honors.

“To get NCAA All-Regional, you have to finish in the top 35 at the regionals meet,” said Danny Cash, head cross-country and track and field coach.

Goncarovs finished in third place at the regional meet, Nov. 4 at Emory University in Atlanta. Norton finished in 11th place and Cason finished 20th.

“To get to NCAA nationals, you have to be a member on the first- or second-place team at regionals, or be one of the first seven athletes not on one of those teams,” said Cash. “Both Andris and Chad were in the top seven not on a qualifying team, so they made it. David was tenth and just missed being able to go to nationals.”

Goncarovs has been running for most of his life and strived to place for nationals.

“I started running seriously when I was eight,” said Goncarovs in an email. “At first, running was just a way to control my chronic asthma, but it turned into something that shaped my identity. Running is pretty much a daily routine. Being a good athlete is just the side effect of making running a central part of (a) lifestyle.”

This determined attitude inspires his teammates as well.

“He’s definitely great to have as a teammate,” said Jodie Geddes, junior and team leader for cross-country. “He’s really inspiring because I see him running at night. I always see him pushing himself and that makes me want to work harder.”

“Andris is a transfer from SUNY Buffalo and has brought a new intensity to the program,” said Cash, agreeing with Jodie. “His work ethic has helped push the team, especially David and Chad.”

Goncarovs placed 107th at nationals Nov. 17 in Terra Haute, Ind.

“Andris ran well at nationals,” said Cash. “He had been recovering from being sick all week, so he would have liked to have raced better. His time was very close to his fastest all year.”

Norton had an impressive showing at nationals. He made school history by placing 73rd, marking the best NCAA result by a Guilford runner and his time ranks at fifth-best in the school’s history.

“Chad also had a very good race at Nationals,” said Cash. “He ran his fastest time of the season and did better than he did last year at nationals.”

Aside from being an amazing runner, Norton is an amazing teammate and student.

“Chad is funny,” said Geddes. “I think that from my first year running on the team to this being my third year, I’ve seen Chad open up a lot. He makes more jokes and talks more.”

“Chad and David are also resident advisors and have helped team members, especially our first-year and transfers with learning the Guilford system,” said Cash.

Cason just missed getting into nationals by 10 seconds. He has been a strong runner for the team.

“David is great,” said Geddes. “I’ve known David since my first year on the team. I think he’s an amazing runner. I definitely admire his stride.”

Geddes then went on to say about the whole team, “I think all three of them together work great. I love watching them in practice, (they) push each other as well as the rest of the team. I love my team.”

Their coach agrees as well.

“Chad, David and Andris are all very dedicated student-athletes,” said Cash. “They all train very hard and help lead the team … the three of them seem to get along well and I have high expectations for them this coming track season and for next year in cross country.”