Cross Country is young and hungry this season


Cierra Bryant

Junior Evelyn Roesner hustles to the finish line.

As fall approaches, Baker Cross Country has started its season after a year that saw both teams finish in the top 10 in the Heart of America Conference.

The cross country season started for Baker on Sept. 3 with the Maple Leaf Invite. The men finished in second place with a time of one hour, 24 minutes and 53 seconds as well as having a score of 64. Unlike other competitive sports, lower point totals are better in cross country. The women finished in fifth place with a time of one hour, 24 minutes and 16 seconds with a score of 98. Junior Anthony Davis and Junior Brooke Allen had good runs in the first event of the year, finishing in fourth place and seventh place in the competition as a whole.

“Guys ran really well, the ladies were a bit dinged up,” Coach Robert Breon said. “We had one that was sick and a couple that were hurt. The ones who did run ran well. We are going to surprise people in our next race when we are fully healthy, it’s going to be a little more fun I think.”

While the results of the first event are promising and Breon has high hopes for the year, the cross country team is very young with only two seniors on the roster. Breon explains that the team had a lot of changes from last season but the veterans on the team are doing a good job at acclimating the younger runners into the sport and culture.

“The nice thing is having a full team that is as young as they are, to a point, you don’t know what you don’t know,” Breon said. “They are all hungry and are all willing to work. They have taken to the process and they have taken everything really well.”

Even if the team may lack the overall experience they are taking everything given to them and just running with it. Breon goes on to explain that the team might only have four upperclassmen but those upperclassmen have brought the younger part of the team together a lot quicker than in any other year.

“I think that the seniors that we do have on the team both set a great example for these young runners to follow,” Junior Anthony Davis said. “We all learn from each other and I think we’re taking the youth and lack of experience on the team and spinning it into a positive.”

The younger runners on the team are being taken under the wing of these upperclassmen as well as having the drive and determination to be competitive. Davis goes on to explain that the team is composed of “young, hungry guys” that are competitive and want to win races, which has helped the lack of experience on the team. Even younger members of the team are taking leadership roles.

“My goal is to support the teams and get back to 100%,” Sophomore Peyton Peterson said. “I look forward to seeing the teams improve every week and build miles and strength every day.”

While some of the team isn’t fully healthy, due to a couple of injuries, they are still going to be helping the teams improve with every event. The team is focused on improving as the season progresses in hopes of surprising people.

“This team will finish in the top three in the Heart of America Conference without a doubt,” Davis said. “When the conference rankings came out, we were listed as the fifth team in the conference. We thought it was disrespectful and I think our guys have a chip on their shoulder because of that.”

This team is prepping for a season that could surprise people as they want to get back to winning trophies and having a shot to go to Tallahassee, Fl. for the 2022 NAIA Championships in what some might call a “rebuilding year.”

“Having more decor in the office would be great by the end of the season,” Breon said.

Baker cross country suits up for its second event of the season this weekend on Sept. 17 in Joplin, Mo. at the Southern Stampede.