By Malcolm Luck
Represented by nine participants in last year’s NCAA Division III Championship, the men’s and women’s cross country team looks to continue winning in the upcoming season.
The women’s team will be led by senior runner Natalie Cooper, who padded her resumé with prestigious awards at the end of last season. Cooper’s consistency earned her NCAA Division III All-American Honors, allowing her to become the team’s first recipient since 2008. Cooper was also named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Runner of the year, as well as first team-All NJAC honors.
The fate of the team does not lie solely on Cooper — other teammates proved to be strong NJAC competitors last season. Coming off of her freshman campaign, sophomore Gabby DeVito looks to sustain success after being named the NJAC Rookie of the Year. DeVito’s selection marks the College’s third Rookie of the Year recipient in the past four seasons.
Aside from athletic awards, five players from the women’s team have also earned All-Academic honors awards. The team posted a cumulative grade point average of 3.57, placing fifth out of 41 teams in the NCAA Atlantic Region Championships.
On the men’s team, senior Quinn Wasko looks to build on his solid junior campaign. Wasko hopes to pick up where he left off last season, setting a personal record in the eight kilometer event at the Regional Championships on Nov. 11. Wasko also looks to earn First Team All-NJAC honors for the second year in a row.
The sky’s the limit for the runners in blue and gold, who hope to succeed under the guidance of NJAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, Justin Lindsey.
The Lions hope that experience proves to be key as they open the season at the Blue/Gold Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 1 in Ewing, New Jersey.