Wildcat cross country prepares for special season

Kortney Buresh, Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s Wildcat cross country teams finished their 2018 season last November, where they placed 12th and 11th respectively in the NSIC and are working towards improving their spot in the standings this year. While bringing back some key returners, the Wildcats will have a young team that brings hopes and goals for the season that lies ahead of them.

Not only does the 2019 season hold a positive outlook by the Wildcats, but it’s the year where Wayne State College will host the NSIC conference meet.

“We’re hosting the NSIC conference meet so it’s a pretty big focus for us to try to perform well,” head cross country coach, Marlon Brink said. “That’s always our goal, but because it’s at home it makes it a little more special and important to us.”

Brink is starting his 20th year at Wayne State as head cross country coach. This will be his fourth time hosting the conference meet.

According to both coaches and athletes, hosting this bigger meet means another chance to have that “home team advantage” feel.

“Hosting NSIC makes this season even more exciting because we have the opportunity to run one of our most important meets at home with our friends and families to watch,” junior Molly McCartney said.

In a preseason poll, voted by coaches from the NSIC, the men’s team was voted 12th, where the women’s team was voted 11th.

“Our biggest hurdle as a team I think will be accomplishing the goal of being ranked in the top 10 of our conference at the conclusion of that meet,” McCartney said.

In addition to preseason rankings, senior Dylan Kessler was voted by league coaches as “Wildcat Athlete to Watch” this season. According to Brink, some other notable returners are juniors Bailey Peckham and Bryce Holcomb. For the girl’s side he expects it to be pretty even with competitors while bringing back McCartney and sophomore Andrea Torres.

“We have a young team relatively speaking but we’re excited,” Brink said. “We’ve been working pretty hard so far and we’ve been putting quite a few miles in.”

Wayne State College cross country teams will partake in their first meet September 6 at the “Augustana Twilight Invite” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.