Cross Country reflects, eyes championships

Contributing Writers

The Northwestern State University Cross Country teams are feeling confident as they look forward to Southland Conference Championships after their last race at Mississippi College where both teams had top-five finishes overall – women in fourth and men in fifth.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” said Chris Sauer, head coach. “We should see both genders move up a couple places [in the conference].”

Second-place finisher Josh Wilkins said it feels good to have teammates who are not far behind him, such as transfer Brandon Lewis-Graham in 11th and freshman Darius Groves in 18th. Both Lewis-Graham and Groves have gone back and forth finishing second and third among the Demons this season.

After the race, Wilkins said his second-place finish was a “confidence builder,” and he’s ready for the championships.

For the Lady Demons, Jacqueline Rushford led for the first time this season finishing 19th, followed by Erin Wrozek in 22nd and Emily Sitarz in 25th.

“We’ve been doing really well, and I think we are a lot more prepared and confident going into this conference meet,” Wrozek said. “A lot of people coming back are in really good shape. I think that we’re all going to be ready to go out there and compete.”

NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, also former cross country coach, praised the team’s recent achievements and progress.

“I’m really excited to see what we have going on, and I’m loving to see the direction and leadership that [Sauer] has been bringing to our program,” he said.

Rushford, Wilkins and Wrozek said they look forward to resting and fine-tuning their skills in the weeks before the conference meet Oct. 27 in Abilene, Texas.

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