Cross-country teams aim to build strength, speed

The Guilford College men’s and women’s cross country teams opened the 2019 season with their first home meet in five years on Friday, Aug. 30. First-year Emily Winder placed fourth in the women’s race with a time of 22:14.8.

In the men’s race, first-year Dierell Parker place sixth with a time of 19:43.9 and following was first-year Zach Crane with a time of 19:46.9.

The Quakers have new faces for both the men’s and women’s cross country teams, adding more experience.

“The entire roster, versus last year, brings previous cross country experience,” Coach Marty Owen says. “With this experience, it has allowed me to expand the volume and intensity of our training. While the group is split evenly between middle distance and distance runners, the team is gelling together as we make a push for the championship season.”

On Saturday, Sept. 14, the Quakers competed at Roanoke Invitational at Green Hill Park. Winder placed 24th overall with a time of 24:51.9, which was the 10th fastest time in program history. First-year Rania Ettorchi crossed the finish line in 33:22.1 and sophomore Ananya Bernardo finished in 33:39.3.

For the men’s team, sophomore Keshawn Murray led the Quakers with a time of 28:55.0.

This year, the overall goal of the men’s and women’s cross country teams is to build intensity.

“This year was still going to be a developmental year,” said Owens.

“This will require the athletes to work harder, train smarter, recover and come back stronger,” said Indoor Coach Marla Lindsay. “My coaching style will introduce more all-around strength, speed, coordination and more flexibility cycles to build the athletes up and make stronger, faster athletes.”

The Quakers competed at Queen City Invite at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Sept. 27. Winder completed the course with a time of 20:58, where she had the 10th fastest 5k time in Guilford’s program history.

Crane finished at 32:05 for the men’s cross country team while first-year Jayson Medrano had a time of 33:28. The men finished 39th out of 42 teams at the Queen City Invitational Friday night.

The team will be in action on Friday, Oct. 18 at VertCross Invitational @ Redmon Sports Complex, hosted by High Point University. Their goal at this meet is to individually improve their 6K or 8K personal best.

“The ultimate plan is to be in the best shape for ODAC and NCAA Regional Championships in November,” said Owens. “And I believe, if the athletes continue to make the progress that they have shown each week, that we will surprise a few teams at each race.”

Next up for the Quakers will be on Saturday, Nov. 2 at ODAC Championships @ Green Hill Park. The men’s team will begin at 11 a.m. and the women’s team at 12 p.m. Their final meet will be on Saturday, Nov. 16 at NCAA South Regional Championships @ Shelby Farms Park. The men’s team will begin at 12 p.m. and the women’s team at 1 p.m.

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