ALLEN BRIDGE ‘DOAH STAFF WRITER
The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the ODAC championships over the weekend with the women finish- ing sixth out of ten teams and the men finishing eighth out of eleven teams. Leading the way for both teams was senior Dorothy Earner who finished ninth overall to earn All-ODAC honors with a time of 25:07. Bridgewater won both events for the men and women’s at host Guilford College.
“We have been preparing for this race since June with summer training, preseason, and season training with 6 a.m. practices every morning and workouts in the weight room twice a week,” said junior Nicole Legare who finished 47th overall with a time of 27:48. “With all of our physical and mental train- ing and making sure we were get- ting the proper sleep and nutrition, we were aiming for a top five finish as a team. We wanted the top five girls who follow behind Dorothy to pack together as close as possible and pull each other along verbally and physically during the race.”
Rounding out the finishes for the women’s team was sophomore Shelby Shrader who finished 30th overall, Legare at 47 and senior Emily Cobb who finished 48th overall.
“I feel great about my performance and the team’s performance. It poured down rain the whole morning so the course was muddy and full of puddles,” Legare said. “The main thing I took away from the performance was given the
conditions of the course, the girls stayed positive and pushed through the entire race. We came out sixth, which is one place better than we have finished the past few years. It’s not as well as we wanted but it’s a step in the right direction, and we are hungrier for a better finish next year.”
Leading the way for the men was freshman Matthew Horton who finished 27th overall with a time of 28:46 in the 8000 meters.
“Coach Marrocco gave us training schedules in June, and the team and I have been training ever since then for this race particularly,” Horton said. “This race was tougher than any race I’ve competed in. I was trying to stay focused on running the longer five mile distance, mentally keeping pace and staying focused which is always the hardest part of running, the mental strain.”
Rounding out the top finishes for the men’s team were sophomore Matthew Gussiaas with a finish of 70th overall and freshman Winston Davis who finished 81st.
“Personally I felt this was my strongest race of the year,” Horton said. “The conditions of the course made it very challenging to all of us on the team, both guys and girls, but I know that we all left it out there on the course. This race serves as great experience for all of us and despite the weather and conditions, we ran well and I am proud of the team. Not many people could do what we did today and compete the way we did given the conditions.”
Both teams will compete in two weeks at the regional tourna- ment hosted by Berry in Georgia.