College weekend meet action included Lynchburg College hosting their own home invitational, while CNU traveled north to compete in Salisbury, Maryland.
The Christopher Newport Cross Country team showed lots of promise in the squad\'s first meet of the season at the Seagull Opener held at Winter Place Park. Both squads were the top finishing DIII squads in the invitational as the men finished fourth overall in the team standings with 124 points, while the women\'s team garnered a third place finish with 86 points.
Pre-season cross country rankings for the 2003 high school season in the state of Virginia.
Old rivalries are renewed as the 2003 Cross Country season opens up this weekend. Two meets of note are the Salisbury University Seagull Opener and the Lynchburg College Blueridge Cross Country Challenge/ODAC preview.
The Albemarle Patriot's senior Hari Mix returns for the 2003 cross country season as one of the strongest runners in Virginia. Mix also leads a supporting cast that is in positiion to capture its third regional title in four years, and contend at the state level. Niether the Patriots as a team or an individual appear dominant however, and there are multiple teams and individuals that will challenge Mix and his squad at their home course of Panorama Farms in Charlottesville October 30th.
This year's Eastern Region meet looks to be a Beach District show with the top two teams and top individual hailing from that district. The team title is a very close contest between perennial powerhouse Cox who have placed second or better in the region meet since 1997 except for 2001, and a fairly young and new team from Landstown that hopes to grab its schools first Region title.
This year's Eastern Region meet looks to be a Beach District show with the top three teams and top individual hailing from that district. The Beach has been the most dominant district at the regional meet for quite some time. The last non Beach District Girls Team to win the title was Great Bridge in 1994. Ocean Lakes and Kellam appear to be the strongest teams once again with Kellam returning a potential state champion.
The Dominion District finds itself in an unusual favorite role going into this fall's high school cross country season. Both defending team champions, the James River girls and Midlothian guys, are from the Dominion District and find themselves as favorites once again as they return strong lineups from last year's groups. Then top returnees on the male side, Ryan Witt of Midlothian, and on the female side, Lindsay Traudt of James River, reign from that same district. It would be quite a feat if all four of the favorites came through with victories at this year's Central Region Meet, but nothing is guaranteed and especially with how closely competitive the region will be this fall.
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The Mary Washington girls' cross country team was top finishing Virginian team at last year's NCAA Division III Southeast Cross Country Regional Meet and return with a team this year that will look to improve upon their fourth place finish from a year ago.
The top division III cross country program in the state last fall was Lynchburg College by a hair. While Emory College (Atlanta, Georgia) dominated last year's NCAA DIII Southeast regional cross country meet, Lynchburg (87 points) finished second in last November's race as they were two points ahead of fellow Virginia school, Christopher Newport University. This year's battle for state supremacy seems to be once again a two team fight between the Hornets and Captains.
As the collegiate athletes are just starting to return to their respective campuses this fall in Virginia, one can only be excited for the upcoming cross country season in store. Many schools and individuals have goals set for themselves this fall whether it be as meager as just trying to find five bodies to field a team or just to be able to make the team at the time trial in late August to as big as advancing a team to a NCAA national cross country meet or earning All-American honors individually.
Washington and Lee athletic director Mike Walsh has announced the appointment of Kris Hoey as head women's cross country coach, associate head coach of track and field, and assistant professor of physical education. Hoey begins her duties immediately.
Andy Gerard, who has helped elevate the distance running program at the College of William & Mary to one of the top tier programs in the nation, has been hired by Stanford University to become their head men's cross country coach and assistant men's track and field coach. Since becoming William & Mary's head cross country and track coach in 1997, Gerard has taken his team to the NCAA Championships in cross country every year. Before coming to William & Mary, Gerard served as an assistant at Stanford from 1993 to 1996.