Story first appeared on edinboronow.com on Oct. 21, 2015 and in print in the Edinboro University Spectator on Oct. 22, 2015.
There are multiple meets throughout a cross country season.
The final three mean the most of all, starting with this Saturday.
The Edinboro men’s and women’s cross country teams are preparing to compete in the 2015 PSAC Cross Country Championships this Saturday at Slippery Rock University.
“It is the kickoff of those three meets that really matter,” head cross country coach Rick Hammer said about the PSAC Championships. “On the women’s side, they get to race their championship distance of 6,000 meters, three times in a row. For the men, this is our last 8K race, roughly five miles. We are looking forward to getting that out of the way and moving on to 10,000 meters, which is where Edinboro men’s cross country usually does their best.”
The women are looking to defend their PSAC team championship from a year ago, which was Edinboro’s first since 2006. However, the Scots are without their top runner from that team, Kasey Jones, who is out of eligibility for cross country.
However, freshman Ida Narbuvoll has stepped into that top spot in just her first year at Edinboro. Narbuvoll kicked off her inaugural season in the Boro with a win in the Doug Watts Distance Gala back in September. She carried that dominance throughout the season and is considered to be a favorite to win the women’s race on Saturday.
“I’m feeling good,” the Norway native said earlier this week. “I was a little bit worried last week because I caught a cold, but I’m feeling good and looking forward to this weekend.”
Narbuvoll may claim that individual title and get the headlines, but Hammer thinks his other top five runners aren’t getting as much respect as they should.
“On paper, Emma Sullivan is the top returner from the region,” Hammer said. “She finished third in the region with two seniors in front of her. I don’t think she is going to compete for the top spot, as we brought in Ida and Slippery Rock has a nice graduate student running for them as well…[but] I certainly think she is in the group to finish third.”
Hammer also noted Anna Hosel and Abbey Lang as others to watch for in the women’s race. Additionally, Hammer said he is “very happy” that Bekkah Bond is back from an injury.
The men’s cross country team finished in third place a year ago. Hammer hopes to have a similar result this year.
“We’ve said all year long that we are a pretty young team,” he noted. “We got three seniors on the squad and then everyone else, eligibility wise, is a freshman or a sophomore. There is still quite a bit of learning that is going on.”
On the other side, and in addition to youth, injuries have plagued the men’s squad for most of the season, but they hope that is now past them.
“Everybody is healthy now, as I’m aware,” senior Elliot Martynkiewicz said about the men’s squad. “I think it will be interesting to see the top seven guys on the line on race day.”
In addition to Martynkiewicz, Corey Wefing, Mike McLaughlin and senior Logan Kempney are Boro athletes to watch for on Saturday.
Following the PSACs this Saturday, the Scots will begin to prepare for the 2015 Division II Atlantic Regional Championships, hosted by Lock Haven University, on Nov. 7 and the Division II National Championships on Nov. 21 in Joplin, Missouri.