LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Randolph College women's and men's cross country teams will see some new runners hit the trail for the WildCats in the 2017 season with a few veteran returners helping to lead the way.
A key returner for the women's team is senior Sophia Dill (Glencoe, N.C./Western Alamance), who was one of the top runners for the WildCats in the 2016 season. Dill finished second at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championships and posted the fastest 6K time (28:41.8) of the season at the Gettysburg Invitational.
Joining Dill is sophomore Liz Beairsto (Bowie, Md./Bowie), who did not get the chance to race last season but will make up for it in the coming season.
Sixth-year head coach Bill Cooper brings on four members of his track and field team to make their cross country debut. They are junior Michaela Saunders (Lynchburg, Va./E.C. Glass) and sophomores Leo Galopin (Rye Brook, N.Y./Ethel Walker), Jalil Penn (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) and Jordan Sheets (Lewisville, N.C./Ronald W. Reagan).
On the men's side, junior Alex Clem (Fredericksburg, Va./Riverbend) is a key returner from a year ago. Clem paced the WildCats as the top runner in all six races last season, achieving the second-fastest 8K time (27:41.87) in program history at the Hagan Stone Classic.
Another familiar face that will be on the trail is junior Amadou Beye (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside), who is also a member of the track and field team. Clem and Beye are joined by first-year runners Cody Carpenter, Kenny Kinton, Caleb Schmitzer, Zachary Waugh and sophomore Jermayne Waller.
The WildCats open their season this Friday, Sept. 1 at the ODAC Preview hosted by Virginia Wesleyan University before competing on Sept. 5 at the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, N.C. Randolph hosts is only home meet, the VA 4-Miler, on Sept. 23 before racing at the 34th Annual Greensboro XC Invitational on Sept. 30.
The Queen City Challenge in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 13 will serve as the final tune-up to the 2017 ODAC Championships, which will be held on Oct. 28.