Leopards Off to the Races in 2016
EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette men’s and women’s cross country team is seeing its preseason training quickly fade as the 2016 season gets underway on Saturday. The Leopards will be at the Monmouth XC Kick-Off in Lincroft, N.J. to start the year.
Christopher Straub has been added to the coaching staff by head cross country and track & field coach Michele Curcio and he will be in charge of handling the middle and distance runners.
“Getting to know a new coach can be difficult, but the student-athletes are doing a great job adjusting to Chris,” Curcio stated.
“They are a small group, but they are really passionate about the sport,” Curcio said. “They are very into what they do and are pretty young so it will be interesting to see how they develop. I think we have a strong nucleus of guys going forward.”
All four had solid outings last year for the Maroon and White and will be leading the men’s team this season.
“David had a great first year and is ready to take the next step,” Curcio said. “I am expecting him to be a very good runner for us.”
“Nate is showing a lot of potential this preseason,” Curcio said. “As the season progresses, you will start to see him run really well.”
On the women’s side, there were plenty of bright spots in 2015, including Emily Moore, who now enters her sophomore campaign. Moore, who exclusively played field hockey in high school, never ran cross country before arriving at Lafayette and really made an impact in her first year by making it to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.
“Emily stepped up last year as a freshman,” Curcio stated. “Having a whole year under her belt will certainly help her. She has looked really good so far this preseason.”
Fellow sophomore Caroline Harmon will also be in the mix this year.
“Caroline is a very talented runner and is definitely someone who could be one of our top finishers,” Curcio stated.
Freshman Margaret Schiazza has been someone who has impressed Curcio in just two weeks of preseason training.
“Margaret has the ability to be in our top seven and has shown it in practice by running with the faster group,” Curcio said.
Despite a great deal of young talent on the roster, it will be the juniors and seniors who will be leading the pack for the Leopards.
“Katie has really come on this year and is someone who has really turned a corner,” Curcio remarked.
Weintraub, Maita and McGill will be depended on to provide a strong sense of leadership throughout the course of the season as the captains.
“I think all three of our captains do a great job in making sure that the ship is running right,” Curcio said. “They are constantly educating the underclassmen on the ins-and-outs of running hills and when to attack and as a coach it is great to see that.”
Last season, the Leopards had several runners in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and they are bringing back a wealth of experience with them.
“It’s always good for them to run at that race and be exposed to a high level of running because it can help them raise their game,” Curcio said.
After the race at Monmouth to start the 2016 season, the Leopards will have a week off before hosting Lehigh on Saturday, Sept. 17 for a 10 a.m. meet.