Cross country looks to improve with young team

Senior Bryce Catlett, center, placed in the top-25 in last season’s A-10 Conference Championship. CT File Photo

Andy Riddler, Contributing Writer

Men’s

The men’s team remains young, but the growth of seven athletes entering their second year will be integral to the team’s progress throughout the season. 

Nicole Cook, director of cross country, said she hopes “the guys that were here would be able to lead them and make them hungry to do better than last year.” 

The whole team will follow in the footsteps of star senior Bryce Catlett, who is coming off an all-conference performance a year ago. He is more than the fastest athlete on the team and has grown into a strong leader in the last couple years, Cook said.

“You can tell he is more vocal now, and he’s really encouraging the guys to stay on top of the things they need to do,” Cook said. 

This team remains young with a heap of sophomores and a group of young runners coming in, but Cook is excited about taking another step forward as a program this year.

“I think we are well-capable of being at least in the top eight at conference, if everyone can be on,” Cook said.

Women’s

The women are looking to build on their slight improvement from a season ago, and Cook believes they are ready to do so after the tutelage of senior Emily Mulhern from a season ago, who is out of eligibility for cross country. 

“I think Emily made a good impact last year on the ladies, and really changed their mindset,” Cook said. “She just brought a different mindset to how she trained to the rest of the team.”

While the team has lost Mulhern, they do return three seniors: Delaney Savedge, Ashley Brown and Judith White. Savedge and Brown both placed in the top 40 at the conference meet last year and look to be the leaders for a team that finished in the bottom half of the conference a season ago.

Cook believes this team is primed to take a step forward, but she knows it comes down to her athletes being their best when it counts.

“I definitely think we can improve as long as everybody is on on the same day. That is probably the most important thing, being on when it matters.”

Cross country kicks off the season Aug. 31 in the Spider Alumni Open in Mechanicsville, Va.

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