WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University men’s and women’s cross country program has some high hopes for this season with new interim head coach Byron Moore. This may be Coach Moore’s first year coaching cross country, however, he is no stranger to Gallaudet. This is the beginning of his sixth year here, having worked with both the football and track and field programs. Moore takes over for former head coach Mikaela Gardner, who resigned this summer.
“Coach Gardner is an amazing coach and has been a major reason why the program has done as well as it has,” said Moore. “It will be hard to fill her shoes but I will do everything in my power to see that this program remains successful. The runners are up early every morning putting in the miles on the road and the work in the weight room. They are building the stamina and muscle endurance that it takes to compete at the high level that this sport demands.”
Here is a breakdown of the men’s and women’s 2014 cross country teams.
The Bison men’s team welcomes back three returning student-athletes in senior Gabriel Carino (Bronx, N.Y.), junior Neal Matthews (Kent Island, Md.) and sophomore Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.). Close, who was injured last season, earned second team all-conference honors at the 2012 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships and was one of the only two Gallaudet runners in the 2012 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional championship.
“We have a good group of men and women returning this season. On the men’s side Neal along with Gabriel have been working hard all off-season," said Moore. "Alex is healthy and ready to lead this team to victory as the men’s team captain. Alex feels he has something to prove this year after last season’s injury sidelined him and I have all the faith in the world that he will do just that,” said Moore.
New freshmen additions Dylan Rich (Brockton, Mass.) and James Weichel (Bradenton, Fla.) add depth to the men’s team this season. Freshman John Isaacson (Clive, Iowa) and sophomore Joshua Branscomb (Memphis, Tenn.), members of the GU track and field team, have decided to also run as members of the men’s cross country team this year.
Coach Moore is very confident in his new athletic prospects for the 2014 season.
“This year we have several new additions that will contribute to the program. John Isaacson and Joshua Branscomb have joined us from the track and field team. They bring a new energy to the cross country team,” said Moore. “Freshmen Dylan Rich and Ivy Sahneyah will be very strong and contenders for the male and female NEAC Rookie Of The Year award, respectively, this season."
The women’s team lost two key student-athletes from last season in Radoslava Slavova and Shadoe Williamson but are looking to senior Rachel Young (Leesburg, Va.) to help lead the team.
“Rachel is stepping up this year in her role as captain for the women's team,” said Moore. “She is the happiest runner that I have ever seen. Rachel’s attitude for practice and competition is contagious. She came to camp in shape and ready to go. I know that every meet she will strive to give 100 percent and leave everything on the course.”
The Bison women’s team welcomes the return of sophomore Elizabeth Reza (Jefferson, Ga.), who looks to make big strides this upcoming season. Also returning to the team this year is Lindsey Corthell (Orlando, Fla.) after a year hiatus.
“Lindsey is a very strong female runner, I am happy to see her return to the sport. I am positive that she will have a very good season,” said Moore.
Gallaudet will kick-off the season in Abington, Pa., at the Penn St.-Abington Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Bison will have one week to rest before they host the Bison Invitational at Kenilworth Park on Sept. 13. Wrapping up the month of September the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Marcy, N.Y., to run in the Wildcat Weekend Invitational hosted by SUNYIT (Sept. 27).
The Bison will hit the road as they travel to Towson, Md., on Oct. 11 to compete in the Goucher Cross Country Classic and they return to Maryland the following week for the last regular-season meet at the Hood College Open Meet in Frederick (Oct. 18).
The month of November holds big news for Gallaudet University as the men’s and women’s teams host the NEAC championship at Kenilworth Park on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 11 a.m.
“I have very high hopes and expectations for this year’s team. Especially, when competing at our home course at Kenilworth Park. The team will be practicing at the park as much as possible to take full advantage of the home course. I predict that we will do very well in the conference championship meet on Nov. 1,” said Moore.
2014 Gallaudet University Cross Country