The Emory University men's and women's cross country teams open
the 2014 campaign on Saturday (Aug. 30) when they compete at the
Berry College Clara Bowl Invitational. The men’s 8K
race will begin at 8:00 a.m., while the women’s 6K
competition is slated for an 8:45 a.m. start
In addition to Emory, other teams scheduled to compete include LaGrange College, Oglethorpe University, SCAD, Shorter and the host Vikings of Berry.
The women’s team heads into Saturday’s event ranked No. 1 in the South/Southeast Region and 31st nationally among D-III programs. Emory returns a number of key personnel from last year’s squad that made the program’s 22nd trip to the NCAA D-III Championships over the past 23 years, including senior Tamara Surtees (Chagrin Falls, OH) and junior Marissa Gogniat (Monroeville, PA), both of whom were All South/Southeast Region performers. Bolstering the team’s fortunes will be the return of senior Stephanie Crane (Annapolis, MD), who spent last fall studying abroad.
The men’s side, ranked No. 4 in the South/Southeast Region, also has an experienced cast of veterans returning from last’s team that earned a spot in the NCAA Championships. Senior Alex Fleischhacker (San Diego, CA) is coming off a solid 2013 campaign that saw him land all-region acclaim as well as the squad’s Most Valuable Runner award. Junior Lukas Mees (Marion, IA) looks to bounce back after missing last fall with an illness. As a freshman in 2012, Mees was named the Eagles’ Most Valuable Runner and competed as an individual at the NCAA Championships. Two other vets who look to provide consistency and leadership include seniors Tyler Cooke (Atlanta) and Patrick Crews (Federal Way, WA).