ELON, N.C. – The Elon cross country programs will kickoff the 2013 season at the Wake Forest Relays on Friday, Aug. 30, in Winston-Salem, N.C. This is the second straight year that the maroon and gold will open its competitive slate at the relay-style meet with the start of the race scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
“I am excited to have the team compete in a race-like setting tomorrow,” said Elon head cross country coach Christine Engel. “The relay format is not your traditional cross country setup, but I think it is a great opening meet for us. I am looking forward to watching the athletes we have competing race hard and test themselves.”
On the women’s side, Elon has high expectations for a team that was four points shy of a Southern Conference championship last season. The Phoenix lost only two runners from its top seven from a year ago, but return 2012 All-SoCon performers in senior Allyson Oram, junior Tereza Novotna, and sophomores Elyse Bierut and Kaitlin Snapp. The maroon and gold was selected as the 2013 SoCon Preseason favorite last week and earned a 13th preseason ranking in the USTFCCCA Southeast Regional poll.
“We our coming off our best season ever in 2012 for the women, so we are hoping to build upon that success,” said Engel. “We have a great group of athletes returning and we also added two freshmen (Kimberly Johansen and Shelby Cuddeback) who have transitioned quite well and I think they will make an immediate impact on the program.”
The men’s program will look to strive towards its highest finish ever at the league championships and returns a wealth of runners that have made their mark on the Elon record books. Junior Luis Vargas was the program’s first runner to earn first team All-SoCon honors after recording the highest finish ever by a male at the SoCon championship meet. Vargas also set the school-records in both the 8K and 10K races last season.
“On the men’s side, we are again looking to Luis Vargas to lead us up front,” said Engel. “He had a very successful sophomore campaign, which helped him gain a lot more racing experience. Behind him, we are looking to race as team and minimize our gaps between each of our runners.”
2013 Cross Country Viewbook
The 2013 Elon cross country viewbook is now online with interviews, photos and other information about the cross country programs.
Elon will host its fifth annual home event, the Elon Invitational, on Saturday, Sept. 14. The starting gun will kickoff the women’s 5K race at 9 a.m. followed by the men’s 8K run at 9:45 a.m.