JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville University men’s and women’s cross country teams start the 2013 season this Friday at the JU Short Course Duals. The women will open the meet at 6 p.m. and the men will finish out the evening at 6:25 p.m. on the Dolphin Green.
While the Short Course Duals is typically a shorter meet, JU is excited to lace up its running shoes. “This is a very low-key opener. It will be nice to put on the uniform and run on our own campus,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “However, our plan is to be at our best in early November. Until then, each race serves as a fitness assessment and an opportunity to work on tactical awareness.”
This season will see a lot of new faces on both teams. Five of the seven members on the men’s team are freshmen and while the team has had a turnover in roster, Coach Grigg is not worried about the direction of the squad.
“Nick Dale and Andy Merrill seem to have excellent fitness and they will likely lead our team. The five freshmen men will have an opportunity to significantly impact our team success this year. I think we will learn some things about this group on our home course.”
On the women’s side, Svenja Meyer will be the only returning cross country member from 2012 but she will not be the only familiar face on the team. This year’s roster will include juniors Shadaey Campbell and Alexis Taylor, additions from JU’s track team who will start their cross country careers this Friday. While they grow accustomed to cross country racing, Campbell and Taylor can be sure to rely on the veteran Meyer for tips, as the senior has earned three all-conference honors prior to this season and was a nominee for the Atlantic Sun Preseason Runner of the Year.
The Dolphins have a long break from competition after Friday, not running competitively again until Sept. 27 at the flrunners.com Invitational in Titusville, Fla.
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