By Emily Coughlin
The men’s and women’s cross country teams have already proved to be quite successful this season, thanks in part to the 10 freshmen men and six freshmen women.
The freshmen recruits for both teams proved to be great assets to the team after both men and women defeated Niagara, a long-time competitor, and placed second at the Little Three Championship meet.
Sophomore Will Delaney, the top freshman runner from the 2016 cross country season, holds the incoming freshmen with high regards, and loves having new runners to compete with.
“The freshmen had a great start. We had three top freshmen place within the top five of our team, so they are definitely showing promise and five or six guys sub-17 for the 5k,” said Delaney.
The impressive scores for both teams reflect the hard work of the team very well. Both men and women are in great shape and have a lot of motivation to push themselves and come out on top, said Delaney.
Sophomore Donovan Lowe said the freshmen are bringing positive energy and determination to the teams this year, creating a great atmosphere to grow in.
“It shows we are coming in strong. We’re a lot more in shape this year, and we’re ready for our future meets and to make an improvement from last season,” said Lowe.
Though the freshmen are so far standing out on the team, freshman Shayna Will said that the transition to college was a little more challenging due to different stretching and practice techniques, but she gave a lot of thanks to the upperclassmen women who helped the freshmen adjust.
“Coming into college, I didn’t know what to expect, so placing second was pretty big because from what I heard, we’ve always wanted to beat Niagara, and we finally did,” Will said.
Both teams are excited to see what this season will bring because of their already huge success.
“Everyone is very excited, and we now have larger numbers and a lot more talent so our workouts are more serious. Our season is taken seriously, and everyone is on board to give it their all throughout the season,” said Delaney.
With the stronger drive to compete and succeed, the cross country teams are putting everything into each practice which showed in their last meet, and will continue to make them great.
“Everyone knows there are no guaranteed spots on the team anymore, so it adds some excitement and competition to the team,” said Delaney.
Though practices are more competitive to train for meets, the teams are focusing on their selves and trying to improve as best they can this season and worrying about other schools later in the harder meets, said Delaney.
“Right now, all we can do is focus on what we’re doing, but we’re excited to see how we run against other schools,” said Delaney.
Within practices, the team has a strong connection and all encourage each other to go the extra mile and give every practice their all. The freshmen fit in well with the dynamic of the team and are quick to pick up on the team strategies, said Delaney.
“The freshmen all kind of work together. We run together and keep each other in our sights to help bring us closer and running harder to keep up with each other,” said Will.
The success of the first meet is giving the team the motivation to push themselves further and harder to try and keep such a high record this season, despite the young ages of the team.
“We’re still a young team, so we’re not expected to place one or two or anything, but we still want to make a mark and fight to stay close to the top,” said Lowe.
Head coach Bob MacFarlane is eager to see how the rest of the season will turn out and to continue to watch the men and women grow and improve.
“Our coach is very excited to see what happens because we did do very well, so we’re just hoping that we can continue to place high and continue to improve,” said Will.
The St. Bonaventure men’s and women’s cross-country teams can next be seen running at National Catholic Invitational in South Bend, Indiana at Notre Dame University on Friday, Sept. 15.