The Oxford Men's and Women's Cross Country teams competed in their second meet of the season this past Saturday. They haven't competed since their first meet on September 8, 2018, due to bad weather conditions. Despite the setback, the men and women teams are staying focused on their mission with the guidance of their coaches.
"We are 3 or 4 competitions behind most schools that we compete with because of our late start and meet cancellation, but we are not letting that interfere with our mission to have another stellar performance at Nationals. Coach Tony and I are creating opportunities to simulate race pace practices. All we need is for our athletes to believe and continue to trust the process," stated Head Coach Ella O'Kelley
Thus far, the athletes are showing that they believe in the process. Both men and women produced two national qualifiers this past weekend at Jacksonville State Invitational. On the women's side, Emily Elder (pictured) ran 19:44 and Katie Dorton followed close behind with 20:55. On the men's side, Justin Burton (pictured below) and Alden Aspiras who ran 26:31 and 26:34, respectively in the 7k, also hit qualifying marks.
"We are relieved to say that we have four qualifiers out of the way, but we are not celebrating fully until we pull the remaining of the team up. Our motto for this season is 'One mind. One force.' We have five more men and women who are literally right there at the brink of qualifying and they will have three more opportunities to punch their ticket. We can go into Nationals seven deep on each side. If we are going to go back to Holyoke to accomplish what we made a pack to do, it starts here. It starts now," stated Assistant Coach, Tony O'Kelley.
The Eagles will compete in their next meet on Saturday, October 13th at Berry College. Races will begin at 9:00 AM.
The Eagles will also host the GCAA Regional Championships on Wednesday, October 17th at the International Horse Park in Covington Georgia. The Women will begin around 4:00 PM and the Men will start around 4:45 PM.