The University of Dallas Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams may not have many things in common, but one thing they share is a very high expectation for the upcoming season.
Coach Matthew Barber returned for another season, and shared his outlook on the two teams.
“For the guys, this is the first time the senior and junior classes have all been together because of Rome. So we are very excited and confident this year,” said Barber.
The Women’s team, on the other hand, is filled with quite a few fresh faces.
“We have a great, young group this season with a ton of potential, polar opposite of our mostly veteran guys team. Our expectations, though, are the same.” Like Barber, senior runners Ryan McAnany and Emma Polefko have the same ideas about where they see their seasons going. McAnany seems to have only one goal in mind.
“We got third in conference last season, so we are looking forward to building on that and bringing home the conference championship this year,” said Mcanany.
When asked how he plans to do that, McAnany stressed the importance of pack running and camaraderie. “By training and racing together, utilizing our team chemistry, we can improve our outcomes, hopefully resulting in the conference title.”
Polefko’s hopes for the women’s season are just as high. Commenting on the previous year, she looks to build upon the previous year’s positive attitude. “We all have to remember that we are capable of so much, and we just have to tap into that potential and give it everything we’ve got on the course,” she said.
Polefko also acknowledged that they have big shoes to fill with last year’s seniors gone but expressed her excitement. “The new runners have so much to offer the team — they are young, driven and passionate,” she said.
With high goals set by both sides, it’s easy to look forward to watching UD Cross Country prove itself in the coming months. The women’s first event is Sept. 4, at the Braveheart Invitational, and the men’s first event is Sept. 5, at the Texas Lutheran Invitational.