Cross Country opens up their season with new head coach

St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Cross Country team welcomes new head coach Ryan Scanlon to the college. Since arriving at the college Scanlon has been organizing and training the Seahawks for their championship season, come November. Scanlon notes “Our preseason training camp went well. We were fortunate enough to have two weeks filled with running, weight training.” Nathan Sawyers (‘23) recalls “pre-season was a bit more challenging than I expected, because I wasn’t nearly as fit as I thought I was for college athletics. But I’m adapting quickly, and I look forward to what the season has to offer.” Tyler Wilson (‘22) remembers, “The preseason was tough but rewarding, I feel like everyone improved markedly in those two weeks.”

The season is showing steady improvement since the first three races of the season on both the mens and womens side. The Seahawks opened their 2019 season with a fifth place finish at the Mary Washington Opener. Considering how large the other team standings were, the Seahawks raced tough and finished strong. 

“The September races have set us up to do well, which is the championship season in November,” Scanlon adds.  Wilson says, “Our goal is to lead the CACs (Colonial Athletic Conference) in effort this year, we are not looking for a specific place in the standings, we are looking to give it our 100 percent each race. Individually, I would like to go under 27:30 for an 8k this year. The hardest workout we have done so far was over 10 miles total with a giant hill every mile.”

Since 2019 is Scanlon’s first year coaching at St. Mary’s, he does have goals for the team. He hopes to have “continual improvements in (their) race times,” as well as improve for future years to come. Despite low roster numbers this year, “both the men’s and women’s teams have a chance to have their best season in the history of the program before it’s all said and done in mid-November or NCAA regional in Pennsylvania,” he adds. 

Sayers concludes, “One reason I love running so much is that compared to other sports, the actual process of training and competing is not all that fun. What is fun, however, is the camaraderie you get with your teammates after the hard days.”

Scanlon finishes stating, “the current group has faced challenges, but they are laying a foundation for lasting success in the years to come. It’s exciting!”

The Seahawks will race one last time Oct. 19 in Lehigh Pennsylvania, before gearing up for championship season in November.

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