Cross-country squads prepare for autumn races


Courtesy of Justin Abell

Second-year transfer studies student Justin Abell said his goal this season is to lower his times.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams will start their 5k meets on Sept. 1.

Head coach Keith Bigelow will enter into his third season running the men’s cross-country team.

The team will have seven runners, including two returners: second-year transfer studies student Justin Abell and second-year general engineering student Spencer Woodbury.

Bigelow said having only two returning players is a challenge.

“We have a good number of new runners coming,” Bigelow, who works in facilities and maintenance, said. “So it’ll just be a matter of working with them from the beginning and training them to see where they are fitness-wise and all that and pace-wise. … Hopefully they fill in all the blanks around the returners.”

In October 2021, the Riverhawks placed first in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 20 Division III championship race. 

Abell said his goal this year is to lower his run time in races. 

“Every race [last year], I improved my time by a lot,” Abell said. “But that’s just because I never ran before.”  

Every runner on this season’s women’s cross-country team will be new to the squad.

Head coach Susan Noble said she expects “a young and enthusiastic team” this year.

“Nearly all of them have run in high school, so it won’t be such a steep learning curve and they’re used to that daily practice,” Noble said. “But it can be overwhelming to start college and be on a team.”

Last season, the team placed first against Westmoreland County Community College in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference Division III championship race. Former runner Madison Palmer led the way with an approximate 21 minute time in the 5-kilometer race.