By Mallory Graves
Staff reporter

The cross country team will have their first meet of the season. It will be at the Bethel Muthama-Rogers Invite on Sept. 19.

Garrett Young is the head coach for cross country. He has been coaching in the KCAC for four years, two at Kansas Wesleyan University, and two at SC.

Since COVID-19 took away part of the track season, Young is eager to get back and train with his team.

“I am most excited to be back on campus with the team. The spring was very difficult for everyone, but it was particularly tough not having the outdoor track season or being able to see any of the student-athletes for six months. I think SC has done an incredible job of preparing a safe environment for us to live and work in,” Young said.

The new school year brings new faces to the group.

“Madyson Garcia is the only senior this year for either team who also plays basketball,” Young said. “We had eight freshmen and two transfers, so ten total new faces for the program this year. Altogether we have 18 people on the team. Abby Cahill from Temecula, California ran for Great Oaks High School, which has won multiple Nike Cross Country National Titles at the high school level. Messi Elgin is one of our two transfers and is a two-time national qualifier in Cross Country at the NJCAA level and has been tearing up workouts. I’m very excited to get them all on the course soon.”

Under the new COVID-19 circumstances, cross country will have a different look this year.

“Some teams and meets are limiting the total number of participants at races and spacing out the starting boxes along the start line,” Young said. “Most meets are not allowing any fans or spectators, including our home, meet on Oct. 24. In terms of travel, we are staying in-state this year, whereas we would normally take an overnight trip to Missouri or Oklahoma or Arkansas.”

Peyton Wardell, accounting junior, explains his personal goals for the upcoming cross country season.

“Some of my personal goals are that I want our group to be live with energy all the time even when the workouts suck,” Wardell said. “Another thing is that I want us to develop a great bond with each other as a team. Lastly, I want us to be one of the top three teams in the conference this year.”

Maliki Pope, business administration sophomore, is thankful that he is on a team such as this.

“My favorite part about being on the team is hanging out with all of the guys and the close friendships that we have,” Pope said.