by Suzanne Jackson
To kick off the season the Roanoke College men’s cross country team won the 2022 EMU Heritage Cross Country Invitational this past weekend. The women’s cross country team came in third. Seniors Cooper Neeble and Chamberlain Zulauf finished 2nd and 3rd overall and led the men’s team. Junior Matt Garis, senior Josh Fretwell, freshman RJ Birdsall, and senior Peter Smith came in the top twelve.
“I believe that team performed wonderfully for their first meet,” said junior Matt Garis. “It was an excellent showing of what we’re capable of and it provides a good launch pad for us all to improve on.”
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams are full of athletes encouraging one another to constantly better themselves and their teammates. “I believe we have the makings of a historic team and I know we all strive to achieve beyond what we think is possible,” said Garis. “Cross country has such a great group of athletes and I believe everyone works together no matter the team to better themselves and others.”
The women’s cross-country team came in 3rd overall and senior Lauren Brown came in first place for the Maroons with her 9th place finish. “I think the girls’ team did pretty well given the fact that our team is so young,” said Brown. “We had a lot of girls out sick, and this was the freshman girls first collegiate race.”
The Maroon’s biggest competitor in the ODAC is the Lynchburg Hornets. The rivalry between the two schools has gone on for years but the team is hopeful for an ODAC title this year. “My goal this season is to finish higher in the ODAC and to just have fun,” said Brown.
The men’s and women’s cross country team will host the Rooney Invitational on Friday at Greenhill Park in Salem. Both teams will travel to Shenandoah University to compete in the Hornet Harrier Invitational on Sept. 24.