Wilkes cross country team in sight of MAC Championship

Frank Passalacqua, Sports Editor

With only thee weeks left until the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships, Wilkes University cross country is prepping both the men’s and women’s teams.

For the Lady Colonels, the Desales Invitational on Oct. 13 is the only meet left on the schedule before the championships. For the men’ team, they have until Oct. 20 against Elizabeth to prepare for the MAC Championships.

Not only are the MAC Championships remaining on the schedule, but the NCAA Regionals on Nov. 10 is also on the team’s mind as well.

“To prepare for the upcoming championship, our coach is incorporating more and more hill work 
into our workouts,” said Sarah Fillman, junior. “We are lowering the mileage we run every day by just a little, trying to
 work on our speed the most.”

Both teams have been great so far this year as the season comes to an end.

“This year’s team is the best team on both sides overall that I’ve ever had,” said Coach Nick Wadas.

With a very young women’s team, the runners have done very good this year under Coach Wadas. Wilkes placed three out of five against Misericordia, nine of 12 at the Dutchman Invitational, eight of 13 at the Cougar Classic, and 21 of 24 at the Dickinson Invitational.

“The girls are young and they did the best they can,” said Coach Wadas.

One player in particular, Sarah Fillman, improved greatly from last season.

“The girl’s team as a whole has improved from last year and throughout the season,” said Fillman. “The whole group is very close together on times in our races, often finishing near each other
 and switching positions each race.”

As for the men’s team, they too have been standing out to Coach Wadas and have placed overall higher than the team’s in the recent year.

“Ever since 2008 when I took the program over, the men’s team is definitely the best one I’ve had,” said Coach Wadas. “I feel like they can compete with the top 10 teams in the region.”

In their five meets, the Wilkes men’s team has placed four of five at Misericordia, five of 10 at the Dutchman Invitational, seven of 14 at the Cougar Classic, five of five in the NEPA Classic, and 19 of 26 at the Dickinson Invitational.

At the recent Dickinson invite, Brian Smith, freshman, set a school record with a time of 28:59. Smith placed 72 out of 233 total runners. Adding to the year’s impressive milestones, Rachel Constant, freshman, ran the second fastest 4k time in school history, finishing with a time of 17:16 at the NEPA Classic.

With the amount of talent on this year’s team, Coach Wadas hopes great things for the upcoming championships. The MAC Championships will be held at Misericordia on Oct. 27 with the NCAA Regionals at Dickinson on Nov. 10.