August 22, 2014
Tiger cross country team rebuilding with youth
Losing six sophomores to graduation, Cowley College men’s cross country coach Kevin McDougal has had to assemble an almost entirely new team heading into the 2014 season.
The young squad will open the season by hosting the Tiger Invite at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 30 at the Tiger Athletic Complex in Arkansas City.
“We are rebuilding with youth,” McDougal said. “I hope the young guys can gain experience and use it to build for the future.”
Six of the seven runners on the roster are freshmen, with Shane Welsh serving as the team’s lone returnee. Welsh is a talented runner that had his freshman season hampered by injuries.
McDougal hopes Welsh will be able to run pain-free and serve as an example to the other runners.
“Shane will have to run well and be that guy to take charge up front,” McDougal said.
Dylan Dyer, brother of former Tiger runner Isaac Dyer, competed at the state cross country and track and field meet while at Collinsville, OK. While, Drew Keller, son of Winfield High School cross country coach Torey Keller, also qualified for state in both cross country and track.
Blake Crouch from Edmond, OK, Joel Roberts from Wichita Northwest High School, and Dalton Chambers from Clearwater, KS, will also be in the mix to help the team throughout the season.
While, Isaac Solis, a walk-on from Halstead High School, will add valuable depth to the squad.
“I look forward to coaching this group of guys,” McDougal said. “Outside of our top runners, the rest will have to run as a group. If we can do that we should be successful.”
Despite not placing hire than fourth at each of the past three Jayhawk Conference Championships, McDougal believes this year’s team has a chance to finish better than last year’s 22nd place finish at the national meet.
“We will probably struggle a bit early, but that’s alright because we want to run our best at regionals and nationals,” McDougal said. “I will try to stress that it does not matter how we run early but how we run towards the end of the season.”