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Cross country teams look ahead to ’17

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Freshman runner Michelle Suarez sprints toward the finish line at the women’s first triangular cross country meet of the season. La Verne met Occidental and Pomona-Pitzer, running through the Pomona College course Sept. 1. Suarez finished the 2.5 mile course with a time of 18:27. The course circled around the campus in Claremont, among the track, concrete and dirt hills. The La Verne men’s and women’s teams both finished third. / photo by Claudia Ceja

Freshman runner Michelle Suarez sprints toward the finish line at the women’s first triangular cross country meet of the season. La Verne met Occidental and Pomona-Pitzer, running through the Pomona College course Sept. 1. Suarez finished the 2.5 mile course with a time of 18:27. The course circled around the campus in Claremont, among the track, concrete and dirt hills. The La Verne men’s and women’s teams both finished third. / photo by Claudia Ceja

Tyler Battrick
Staff Writer

The 2017 cross country season has kicked off for the University of La Verne.

Coming off a successful year with both the men’s and women’s earning Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association honors for their academic achievements, there is plenty to look forward to in this upcoming season.

Head coach Bryan George has lead the team to the NCAA West Regionals last season, and said he is looking to build on the successes of last year with a mixed group of newcomers and returners.

“We have a lot of new people and new faces on the team. I’m looking forward to a good season by integrating the new runners into the program, and I’m expecting to see a lot of good progress with both the boys’ and the girls’ programs,” George said.

“Our biggest strength is that there is a lot of enthusiasm with both the returners and the newcomers. We have several good upperclassmen returners with experience. We’ll be able to ride some new leadership, and we have a lot of enthusiasm from all around,” he added.

Graduate assistants Will Cross and Lindsey Meng are assisting George with coaching responsibilities this season.

“I’m looking forward to a bunch of growth in the newcomers and to the continued growth from returners on the team,” Cross said.

“Every year you have new opportunities and new races, so it’s exciting to see the changes from year to year and we’re excited for this season,” he said.

Meng commented on the hard work the team has been putting in at practice.

“They have a lot of drive and the main thing they need to work on is working the corners and tangents,” she said.

The coaching staff are not the only ones pumped up about this cross country season; the runners have been working feverishly and said they are ready to see their hard work pay off during the season.

“I think we have a lot of potential on the team and we’re just excited to be out there,” said sophomore runner Samantha Hanawalt.

The ULV cross country teams will have their second meet 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Biola Invitational in Fullerton.

Tyler Battrick can be reached at tyler.battrick@laverne.edu.

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