Men’s and women’s teams compete at Quaker XC opener

Members of Guilford’s cross-country teams discuss the course and race strategies before their first meet of the season.

On Friday, Aug. 31, the Guilford College men’s and women’s cross-country teams put their off-season training to the test at the Guilford Cross Country Opener. The meet, held on the teams’ Meadows Course, was the first Guilford has hosted since 2014 and featured runners from Guilford, Averett University and Randolph College.

In a 15-man race that started at 6 p.m., the men’s cross-country team was represented by first-year Dierell Parker, who finished sixth with a time of 19:43.9, first-year Zach Crane, who finished 7th with a time of 19:46.9 and sophomore Keshawn Murray who finished 13th with a time of 23:35.1.  The men’s team was picked 10th in the preseason ODAC poll

In the women’s race at 6:30, the Quakers were represented in a 14-woman field by Emily Winder, who finished fourth with a time of 22:14.8, and by a 10th place finish from Rania Ettorchi with a time of 28:25.7.

“I thought it (the meet) went very well and was a good building block for our team,” said Marty Owens, Guilford’s director of track and field/cross country operations. “I was trying to keep the event simple and just get my younger runners experience so that they can perform well in our next race, when we will have all five runners and be able to score.”

Sue Bower, Guilford’s athletics director, attended the race and expressed similar thoughts about the event. “ I am thrilled to be here,” she said. “It is very exciting to see Guilford hosting its first meet here since 2014!” Bower went on to say that it’s great for the cross-country teams to have a home meet because it is easier for fans to support the student-athletes on their home course.