Cross country team making strides toward the finish

Andre Spruell, Assistant Sports Editor

The Wilkes University Cross Country team is making strides to improve from its disappointing 8th place finish in the Middle Atlantic Conference last season for both the men’s and women’s teams. 

In its last meet on Sept. 12 at the Cougar Classic at Misericordia University, the Colonels placed 9th out of the 15 teams that took part in the meet.  Leading the way for the men was sophomore Jordan Lindley, who finished 28th overall with a time of 28:59, the thirteenth fastest time in school history for the 8k.

For the women, freshman Morgan Jones finished with a time of 24:53, the seventh fastest time in school history for the 6k, and took home 11th place. With five more meets remaining, the men and women’s teams look to keep making progress and finish as one of the top schools in the MAC.

“Each person has individual goals, but as a team I think we’re trying to get the highest place we can,” said sophomore sprinter Jordan Lindley. “Last year we finished 8th but I think we can definitely do better than that this year.”

With the hard work that the team puts in, which includes certain male sprinters running up to fourteen miles a day and the women running about nine miles a day. Not only do the teams run, they also do things like swim and weight train to incorporate other methods in an effort to improve.

Despite not having official captains on the team, the team leaders (according to other runners) for the women is junior Tracey Hilker and on the men’s side, seniors Tyler Sutton and Martin Tolbert. Despite running being an individual sport, many people fail to realize that cross country actually is a team sport — in order for a team to place, it has to take into account the place of the top five runners from each school to see where they finished.

Female athletes must run a 6k, which is 3.8 miles, while the men run an 8k, which is 5 miles.

Despite a shaky start, the Colonels look to unite and finish the rest of the season on a high note.

Sophomore sprinter Carmen Hillman adds, “We made some team goals:  to work as a family, be a family, and not let anyone else quit, and just improve throughout the season individually and team scoring wise.”

The Cross Country team’s next race will take place on Sept. 26 at 10:30 a.m. in Carlisle, Pa., at Dickinson College when the team participates in the Dickinson Short/Long Invitational.