New faces lead tiger cross country teams
With just two returning runners on both the men’s and women’s squads, the cross coun try teams will count on a strong freshman class to lead them during the 2005 season.
Despite the lack of experience running at the college level, Cowley head coach Mark Phillips is excited about the potential of both squads.
The men’s team will be led by freshman Arnold Mombosi from Eldama Ravine, Kenya. “He has the ability to be the top runner in our conference, and if he can stay healthy, he can be one of the top runners in the country,” Phillips said.
Returning sophomores are Scott Olson and Ryan Stittiams. Although Stittiams competed in just one meet before suffering a season-ending injury in 2004, he and Olson will be counted on to provide leadership to the team. Olson placed 59th at last year’s NJCAA national meet with a time of 27:11.
After finishing second in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division last season and 12th at the NJCAA National Championships, Phillips has high hopes for this year’s men’s team.
The women’s team also has lots to be excited about, despite a lack of numbers. Cowley has just five runners on this year’s team, so the health of the squad will be a major concern.
However, the Lady Tigers have a strong group of runners that is led by freshman Linet Birir who, like Mombosi, is from Eldama Ravine, Kenya. Returning sophomore Katie Wagner, who placed 102nd at last year’s NJCAA national meet with a time of 21:47, also has been running well heading into the season.
Returning sophomores La-Nation McCray and Leshea Jenkins from Miami, Fla., will round out the squad and give Cowley enough runners to field a team. Both ladies were valuable contributors to last year’s team.