Women’s cross-country looks to run to the top

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Lee Sanderlin

The Appalachian State women’s cross-country team is hoping to make a run for the Sun Belt Conference title this season as they enter the year atop the conference coaches poll. App State received six of the 11 first place votes in the conference, with UT Arlington receiving the remaining five.

“We’re excited that the rest of the conference thinks that much of us,” head coach Michael Curcio said. “There’s a lot of work to be done between now and Nov. 1 [Sun Belt Championship], but we have to stay healthy and get through the whole season to be ready for that date.”

Junior runner Tristin Van Ord has very high expectations for herself and the team heading into the season.

“I really want to be Top 10 regionally for the team, which I think we can get there,” Van Ord said. “I really want to go to the national championship individually as well. It’s my goal to win conference individually.”

Van Ord was one of the top performers in the Sun Belt in 2014. Competing in the 5K event, her lowest finish last season was sixth place, in the first meet of the season.

After that, Van Ord went on a dominant streak, finishing second three times in four meets, including at the Sun Belt Conference Championship. Van Ord’s best performance last season came in October, when she finished first in the 5k at the Upstate Invitational.

Van Ord said she wasn’t too surprised by the team being selected as the favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference this season.

“I was definitely expecting us to be in the top two,” Van Ord said. “We finished second last year and we were really close to getting first. I think people were focused on us anyways, since we were second in the conference last year. I think we are going to be ready for [the championship] this year.”

The team, along with the men’s team, will open their season on Sept. 4 at the Covered Bridge Open, their only home race of the season.
The race begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the State Farm Greenway.

 

Story by: Lee Sanderlin, Intern Sports Reporter