COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Capital University men's cross country team is set to hit the ground running equipped with the foundation that was laid from last year and the addition of some new runners to the mix. All eyes are looking toward a finish in the top half of the Ohio Athletic Conference this year.
Capital made a statement last year at the 2015 OAC Championship when they accomplished a higher ranking then had been seen by the team in the last ten years. According to Weiss that was just the beginning, "The top seven are a complete improvement from where we were last year, they have a more competitive attitude and the older guys are more than ready to take the new guys under their wing."
Academic All-OAC senior Andrew Stroh (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) is a pacesetter on and off the cross country course leading the team through big meets like the 2015 Ohio Athletic Conference Championship where he was once again the first Crusader to cross the finish line in 26:41.1 .
Juniors Aaron Fox (Commerical Point, Ohio) and Derek Knabe (Cincinnati, Ohio) were driving forces for the team last year consistently pulling in top place finishes within the Capital group, and are noted as key pieces to help the team pull out the top place marks they want for championships.
The fresh faces this season include Corbin Brown (East Sparta, Ohio), Daniel Costello (Sandy Valley, Ohio) and Austin Myers (Upper Sandusky, Ohio). Freshman Tim Trentel (Lakewood, Ohio) is an incomer to keep your eyes out for he is already running with the top guys early on in the season. Weiss noted, "The new guys will not just bring depth but they are a naturally competitive group of guys who will be extremely competitive within the conference and will be people down the road to look out for."
The small group will have big shoes to fill in order to reach their goal of being in the top half of the conference, but head coach Hannah Weiss says, "They have a smaller roster which gives them less wiggle room but I definitely think it`s possible it will take us working hard throughout the entire season and doing the little things correctly."
Capital will make a return trip to Otterbein University this weekend when they compete in the Otterbein Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 17.