The 2014 XC Season started with high expectations – defending Conference Champions on the women’s side and a 4th place finish for the men at the South/Southeast Region Championships and only one senior graduated off each squad. Early training sessions showed that the team put in good work over the summer and arrived on campus fit and focused.
The first competitive test occurred on a short course in Richmond. The top five women finished in a 31 second spread led by senior Julie Machamer (Norfolk, VA) at 11:40 for the 2-Mile course. That effort earned her CAC Athlete of the Week honors. The men raced a 5k course and 9 Captains posted their best ever times for that distance. Sophomore Billy Rabil (Springfield, VA) was first across the line for CNU.
Up next was another shorter-than-championship-distance meet at William & Mary’s hilly course. Machamer led the women again, improving her XC 5k best by 30 seconds (and a course best by almost 3 minutes) to 19:32.9. Sophomore Logan Harrington (Montpelier, VA) also posted a 30 second best with her 20:05.2 effort. The top 10 men ran a workout while the second pack raced the 6k course in Williamsburg. Sam Murch (Chesterfield, VA) and Ricardo Cabrera (Richmond, VA) ran in lockstep most of the way with Murch finishing just a little stronger – 20:44.7 to 20:50.6.
The third meet on the schedule was a return to the site of the 2013 Capital Athletic Conference Championships – Salisbury’s notoriously fast course at Winter Place Park. The women had an outstanding day and took the team title over Slippery Rock, Kutztown, Mansfield, and 11 other scoring teams. Logan Harrington, Lydia Cromwell (Round Hill, VA), Emmie Schmitt (Spotsylvania), and Julie Machamer all joined or moved up on the 6k Sub-24 Club Lists – and Machamer did it in spite of being in the lead group that was pointed the wrong way with about a mile to go, adding about a quarter mile to her race. JJ LaPointe (Arlington, VA) and Billy Rabil joined the 8k Sub-26 Club to lead the men to a third place finish, holding off Salisbury by 2 points. LaPointe earned CAC Athlete of the Week honors for his 10th place finish (25:47.89).
After a soggy Fall Break camping trip, the team returned to host the CNU XC Invitational at Lee Hall Mansion. The men took the title over VCU, defending CAC Champions York College, Norfolk State and four others. Senior Sam Martin (Rockville, MD) led the way at 26:40.9 and 30 seconds later, fellow senior Brad Turner (Williamsburg, VA) finished the scoring for the Captains. The women’s pack did not hold together quite as well behind Harrington’s and Machamer’s huge course bests (23:51.2 and 24:19.0, respectively). The team finished fourth out of eight squads.
The Championships Season begins this Saturday (Nov. 1) with the CAC Championships at the Four Winds Golf Club in Rappahannock, VA. Conference previews, including video interviews with the coaches are available on the Capital Athletic Conference website (cacsports.com). At the top of the alphabet - and the pre-season Conference Polls - Coach Barreau's spots lead off both videos.
Berry College hosts the South/Southeast Region Championships on their campus in Rome, GA on November 15th.
A week later, Division III descends on Mason, OH for the National Championships hosted by Wilmington College.