Men’s and women’s cross country teams’ outlook is positive for a strong, competitive run at NCAC titles

As the beginning of the 2008 cross country season approaches, both the men’s and women’s teams look to be in a position to have a very competitive season.

For the men’s team, five of the top seven runners are returning from last season this year, including senior Mark DeWine ’09. Despite its seventh-place finish at the North Coast Athletic Conference, Wooster has upheld a tradition of being one of the conference’s top cross country teams with ten top three finishes over a 24-year period.

DeWine, along with Rick Workman ’10 and Terry Workman ’10, are expected to be the top three finishers for the men’s team by head coach Dennis Rice. DeWine has been a consistent two or three finish for the Scots before an injury kept him out of competition last season.

DeWine came back in the spring to compete for the track team, in which he did an exceptional job. He even managed to place fourth in the NCAC in the 10,000 meter run. After having such a spectacular track season, his return to the cross country team has been highly anticipated. With DeWine injury-free, it looks as though he will be back to being the top finisher for the men’s team.

The Workman twins were the number two and three runners for the team last season. At the NCAC Championships Rick placed 32nd and Terry placed 39th.

The problem the Scots still face for the upcoming season is that they need to find strong fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh finishing runners.

However, Rice says that there are a number of people who could take up those roles, including juniors, sophomores and even a few first years. As long as the men’s team can stay healthy, it looks as though they will be a very strong, competitive team this year in the NCAC again.

The women’s team looks to have a more positive outlook for the 2008 season after last year’s rebuilding season, when three of their top five runners had been first-years. This season, there are only three seniors and two juniors returning to the team out of the 19 women on the team roster.

Returning sophomore Suzanne Capehart ’11 was the Scots’ top finisher in every race last season, including finishing 16th at the NCAC Championships, which got her an honorable mention for the All-NCAC Team. Rice has more high hopes for her this upcoming season.

The women’s team is currently looking to build on the experience of the returning runner in order to carry on their tradition of being a top contender in the NCAC. There has also been a long line of individual runners on the team, which it seems as though Capehart is going to carry on that tradition as well.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for Jessica Yarmosky ’11 and Chelsea Fisher ’11. They both placed at the NCAC Championships and the NCAA Div. III Great Lake Regional Championships. Yarmosky placed 36th and 145th while Fisher finished 42nd and 150th in both of those meets.

The women’s team also has a solid incoming group of first-years that will hopefully be able to fill in the missing links. If these young, up and coming runners are willing and able to step up to the plate, the very near future looks extremely bright for the women’s team, with Capehart leading the way.

Due to the teams inexperience and how young they are as a whole, Rice does not think they will be able to make a NCAC Championship run. Instead, it looks to be another year of rebuilding the foundation for the future for the women of Fighting Scots cross country.