The Guilford Quakers men’s and women’s cross country coaches are excited about the potential growth in their athletes.
Entering their first meet, the Quakers had the idea of using the race as another step into their training regimen. Caleb Anderson, a senior, commented that the first meet was a step in the process to recovering from his knee injury.
“I knew, coming into this season, that my knee (would be) giving me a lot of issues so I have really been focused on training as hard as I can,” Anderson said. “The meet wasn’t so important. That race was about training and getting another day in.”
Junior Samantha Brooks says she never takes the first race seriously. Throughout her three years of competing, her main goal has been to stay healthy and be a proficient and encouraging runner. She puts the team before herself and wants to create a positive environment for her teammates to improve.
“Running is hard and it takes a lot of conditioning, support and encouragement from other people,” Brooks said. “To be able to do that for someone, who is newer to the sport, is something I want to do.”
The Quakers will compete in the Adidas XC Challenge on Sept. 15, in Cary. Men’s head coach Danny Cash says this will be a true test for his athletes. The young talent he and women’s interim head coach Marla Lindsay has brought onto the team was unfamiliar with the length of the normal collegiate length, five miles. The men’s team finished eighth out of 14 while the women’s team were unable to place due to not having enough runners.
“This is the first race where they are going to be able to get out after competition and see where they stand,” Cash said. “So this will give them a chance to exhibit where they are physically.”
Coach Lindsay is expecting big things from her women’s team at the Adidas XC Challenge. She says winning is always good, but improving their running times with each event is better. She believes Sommer Fanney, senior and motivational leader of the women’s team, will go out and establish a good pace for the others to follow.
“I’m expecting to see Sommer break a record,” Lindsay said. “There is a new young lady named Erica Barnes. I can see she is going to do something. There is also Samantha Brown and Samantha Brooks. I love their drive and I’m ready to see them drop some times.”
Even though the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships are a month away, both coaches are predicting great things from the athletes. Coach Cash wants the veteran men to compete against schools and break personal goals. Coach Lindsay has an even bigger view on the potential of the athletes they have.
“I would like to place in the top three in ODAC. I know that is saying a lot, but I think it can happen,” Lindsay said. “As long as I see Quakers crossing that finish line with some great times, I think that’s how I would like to see the season end.”