Written by Tim Hofstaetter
This past weekend, Roanoke hosted the cross-country championship at Green Hill Park, where the men placed 5th and the women placed 6th. The women improved from their 8th place finish, last year. The men dropped from their 3rd place last year. This is after both teams lost major roster depth from the past year, the men graduated four of their top five runners and the women graduated two of their top five.
Although we lost runners, we also brought in a fantastic freshmen class, including Ian Fellows finishing second for the men, Evelyn Magee finishing second for the women, Allie Gallaher finishing fourth for the women, and Molly McCroskey finishing 5th for the women. This is the first championship race with a new coach and, “wow,” it was electric. There were a lot of great performances, and Coach Workman was ecstatic. He is looking forward to regionals where we are hoping to catch some more ODAC teams by surprise in Georgia.
A moment of appreciation is necessary for the fans that showed up and supported our teams. I understand that Cross Country is not the most exciting sport to watch but there was a lot of support from the community for this team! There were many parents that came to support. There were also many track and field teammates as well, so thank you all for that. Along with them, as with any team at Roanoke, there are the diehards that have formed a connection to the runners. So thank you to everyone that supports a runner as a friend, classmate, or partner, your support does not go unnoticed.
To give respect to the amazing athletes that competed, I want to congratulate you all. You should all be tremendously proud of yourself. It is not every day you get to compete in a championship race in such a tough conference. You all competed to the very best of your ability and that’s all anyone can ask for. We (Roanoke) had our top 5 have the 3rd best spread in the entire race by about 50 seconds and because of that we were able to move up throughout the race. WE outkicked people to solidify our spots in the conference.
Special shout out to Sean Tolliver who has been injury prone since he has come to Roanoke, he put his complete faith in our new coach and has put together an injury-free season, and at ODAC came in 8th for Roanoke. Everyone loves your hard work, and we are so happy to see it paying off for you in a big way! Another special shout out to the entire women’s team. In the ODAC preview, you all ran personal bests in the 6k and nearly matched lifetime bests in the 5k during your 6k! You have all put your trust in Coach Workman and it is paying off.
For the three seniors from this year Abby Casen, Bekah Sullivan, and myself – Congratulations! We made it all the way from Covid and did amazing in our time, here at Roanoke. I can’t wait to see what we all do in the future! Thank you to the rest of the team for the amazing posters we received and the support you have given us while here. We love you all and can’t wait to see how you finish your college career!