By CLAIRISSA MYATT
This is the third consecutive year that Lynn has had a competitive cross-country team. The progression that the team has made this season has been remarkable.
With the addition of six new girls to the sport, and only one returner, the team has virtually started from scratch.
With the addition of four student-athletes coming from both swimming and softball backgrounds, fitness was not an issue, but a virtue.
“I feel like my legs are in much better shape this swim season due to the training we’ve done in cross-country,” said Savannah Maier, sophomore.
Sophomore Sara Northup set the tone for the season when the team made their debut on Sept. 12 at the University of Tampa Cross Country Classic. The team placed seventh out of nine teams and Northup set a personal record by coming in at 19:57.5 for the 5K race and earning a spot in the top-ten.
The rest of the team only improved from there. Times were dropping as they raced into the second meet of the season. Both softball players, senior Cydney Schmidt and senior Missy Montgomery came in with best times at the Embry-Riddle Asics Classic.
Schmidt at a 21.30:23 and Montgomery with a 24:27.13.
As the season went on, the Blue&White had added more runners to the team. They welcomed freshman Aliye Muhammad-Menzies, as well as graduate student, Rebecca Matthews, with open arms to trying new things. With being another new cross-country runner with no past experience, it is clear the team looked up to Northup for guidance to this new adventure.
It was the Disney Cross Country Classic in early October that the team really seemed to gel well together. Six of the seven girls ran the race and all placed their best times.
“They worked together today, all set personal records and achieved a new team low average time. The Disney Cross Country Classic is always a fun meet and I am really happy we were able to come here and have fun while reaching our goals,” said head coach Niki Alvarez.
With the team working together and reaching their goals, it was no wonder that their final conference race went so well.
“It’s exciting to see such a young team learn to work together,” Coach Alvarez commented.
While Lynn Alumni Gabriella Wuyke holds the school record SSC Championship with times of 22:35 and 22:54.90, Northup came very close logging in a time of 23:27 qualifying her to move on to NCAA South Region Tournament in Alabama on Nov. 22.