Coach Mike Johnson highlights his upcoming season for both the men's and women's cross country seaon.
Veteran head coach Mike Johnson has his Berea College runners tuned-up and ready to go as they enter the 2014 season. Here is a preview of both squads:
Women's Cross Country
The women's cross country team at Berea College will look to continue the success they had last season. Despite losing four runners to graduation, Coach Johnson is optimistic about his squad. Johnson, entering his 34th season will rely heavily on National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Cross Country National Championships qualifier, senior, Mercy Kershner.
Coming off a year where the team finished fifth in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC), Kershner, along with junior Gabrielle Sawyer and sophomore Gabriella Sabino, return this fall to help the team compete for a United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Cross Country National Championship bid. The first opportunity for the women's to begin their march toward a national championship will begin on September 5, as the team competes in the Queen City Invitational in Cincinnati, OH.
Men's Cross Country
The men's cross country team is coming off another championship season and looking for bigger and better things in 2014. In the 2013 season, the Mountaineers competed in eight events and finished first or second in five of those; including the team's ninth straight Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship (KIAC). The team also had seven runners compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic (NAIA) Cross Country National Championships.
The men's cross country team will return 10 of its runners after losing five to graduation last season. One of those returners will be junior Jeremy Johnson, who was named KIAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week a conference high four times in 2013. Along with Johnson, three other runners who competed in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships return. They are seniors Michael James and Joseph Carrick and sophomore Zachary Robb. The addition of three talented incoming recruits has Coach Johnson expecting to have a very strong season and make an immediate impact in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. The men's cross country team's first competition is the Queen City Invitational on September 5 in Cincinnati, OH.