2017 Lafayette Cross Country Season Preview
EASTON, Pa. – Lafayette men’s and women’s cross country teams are ready to hit the trails as their season begins Saturday at the Monmouth Kick-Off in West Long Branch, N.J.
With the addition of two new coaches and a strong group of returners to mentor the new faces on the team, head coach Michele Curcio has high hopes for the upcoming season.
“Everybody came into preseason in great shape and ready to work,” Curcio said. “Our workouts and time trials have been faster and I fully expect that to reflect in our overall times this year.”
On the women’s side of things, Curcio returns a deep and experienced corps that will be looking to post improved times and compete within the Patriot League. The team is deep and that experience bodes well for the upcoming season.
“We returned nine runners out of our top 10 from last season and that is really going to allow us to push our times to be better and compete at a higher level,” Curcio said.
“Emily is going to compete with the highly ranked schools we go up against,” Curcio said. “Jennifer had a great track season last spring and that’s going to help us immensely. Caroline brings a steady presence to our group and I’m excited to watch her run this year.”
“Katie, Mikayla and Morgan all bring a lot of leadership and depth for us and they’re going to be solid performers this season,” Curcio said.
“Emily ran in the top seven for us last season and Courtney was strong for us as a freshman,” Curcio stated. “I’m excited to see how they improve in their second year.”
Margaret Schiazza returns as a sophomore looking to make an impression after an injury plagued debut last season.
“Margaret was hurt last year and this year is a blank slate for like it would be for an incoming freshman,” Curcio said. “I’m excited for her to get back to running this season.”
In addition to the strong group of returners, Curcio has brought in a strong group of freshmen to push the team even further. Gabrielle Galletta and Ainsley Jacobs are two of the new runners that have caught Curcio’s eye in the preseason.
“Gabrielle had some really good high school times and I’m excited for her to start out strong this year,” Curcio said. “Ainsley is someone who I’m expecting to make big strides for us, and the two of them together will be battling it out to break into our top spots.”
“Matt and Kelvin are our two rocks at the top for us, they will lead the way this fall,” Curcio said. “Tyler adds invaluable leadership to the group for us, and all three will play a big role for us this season.”
“Mark came out for us last year as a sophomore and really surprised us, so I’m excited to see him run this fall,” Curcio stated. “David is another solid contributor for us and he’s going to run well for us this year.” “Jake has dealt with some leg issues the past few seasons but he’s healthy and raring to go this year.”
After sound freshman performances, Nate Becker and Calvin Schenck return for their second seasons on College Hill.
“Nate and Calvin are both consistent contributors for us and I’m expecting them to keep that up after seeing them work during preseason,” Curcio said.
“Thomas, Mike and Tim have all impressed during preseason and I expect them to push for our top seven this fall,” Curcio said. “Ryan and Harry will both keep improving and compete for spots this year.”
Lafayette opens its season on Saturday, traveling to West Long Branch, N.J. to compete in the Monmouth Kick-Off. The event is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start. The Leopards will hit the trails again on Friday, Sept. 8 as they head to Lehigh to participate in the Lehigh University Dual, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.