Cross Country preps for 2014 season

By Rachel Thompson, Staff Writer

Armstrong State University’s cross country team expected to finish sixth in 2014 Peach Belt Conference after the preseason poll of conference coaches.

In the past season, the pirates did actually finished sixth in the 2013 PBC Championship. The vote was released on August 18th stating that the team had garnered 39 points including one second-place vote. In the top spot of the poll stands GRU Augusta and Columbus State, who each received 75 points.

Of the remaining schools, Flagler (57 points), UNC Pembroke (52 points) and Georgia College (50 points) were picked ahead of the Pirates. Clayton State (32 points) followed in seventh, with Young Harris (30 points) and Montevallo (29 points) close behind, and Francis Marion (11 points) finishing tenth.

The team welcomes four talented freshmen, Guillaume Corneloup, Donald Shelton, William Wright, and Henning Schein. Returning are Alex Martinez and Christian Davis.

As one of the two sophomore returners, Martinez has been thrust into a leadership position. In 2013, he placed 16th at the PBC Championships, with a season-best time of 25:53 in the 8k course.

“My personal goal would be to get below 25 minutes in the 8k and to set a personal record in the 10k,” Martinez said, “and as a team goal, I would like to come top three in conference and go to nationals.”

In preparation for the season, Martinez aimed to run 1500 miles over the summer, and attempted to pursue this goal by running about 70-80 a week and by monitoring his food intake.

As a team, the Pirates prepared by participated in Rails to Trails on Tybee Island, as well as time trials just within the team.

Head coach Michael Sergi said, “For us to improve from 2013 we have to give 100% effort while being optimistic and positive.”

After a lengthy, summer-long preseason, the pirates are set to kick off their 2014 season with a PBC meet on September 5 against Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA.