WASHINGTON – Half of the Gallaudet University men's cross country team returns from last year while seven new faces, including two freshmen and two runners new to the sport who are crossing over from track and field. Coach Byron Moore has high hopes that the team can revert to the success they saw three years ago, when they landed in the top five of the conference.
"I hope to see this team have better performance confidence; regaining the core unit will propel us back to the rank we saw in 2015," said Moore, now in his fifth year at the helm.
His top returner is former competitor Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.), returning to Gallaudet for graduate school with one season left to run. He was captain for two years during his undergrad years where he earned All-NEAC honors.
"Alex was a top runner then, and I expect him to be one of the top runners now, especially by the end of the season," said Moore.
Coach is also leaning on junior Dalton Attansani (Hammonton, N.J.) to emerge as a mature leader for this year's team. Freshman Jared Spinale (Camby, Ind.) has already left a strong impression as Coach Moore said he showed up in shape and ready to go this season.
Highlight: Had four runners finish at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championship
Dalton Attanasi (Hammonton, N.J.), Jr.
Attanasi has been emerging in a leadership role from his freshman year, and is ready to return stronger than ever after an injury took him out of last season's competitions.
Kai Christenberry (Birmingham, Ala.), Jr.
Christenberry was one of GU's top three runners during the 2017-18 season and has been selected as the men's team captain this year.
Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.), Sr.
Close returns to the Gallaudet cross country program after he left in 2015 as an All-NEAC Third Team selection. He earned all-conference second team honors in 2012 and 2014. A season-ending injury in 2013 sidelined him but allows him back on the team this fall for one more year.
Chance "Ren" Hohneke
Hohneke was Gallaudet's top finisher for the 2017-18 season. Moore is hopeful Ren may "find a way back to us" down the line.
Jared Spinale (Camby, Ind.), Fr.
Spinale has a strong background in cross county running as well as wrestling.
Brady Perry (Frederick, Md.), Fr.
Perry is an experienced cross country runner and received the 2017 Male Athlete of the Year award from Maryland School for the Deaf.
Montray Roberts (Dallas, Texas), Fr.
Roberts is entering his senior year and has competed in track and field and football throughout his academic career here at Gallaudet. He comes to the cross country team in shape and ready to amp up the team in his final year.
"If everyone trusts the process and accepts their role, there is nothing this team cannot accomplish." Byron Moore, Gallaudet University men's cross country coach
The Bison will begin the season in Cockeysville, Md., on Aug. 31, at Oregon Ridge Park as they run in the Towson Invitational. GU will then travel to Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pa., to get the team's first look at the 2018 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) cross country championship course on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Gallaudet will run at the Hornet Harrier hosted by Shenandoah University on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Kernstown Battlefield. The following week the Bison will run at the Don Cathcart Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29, hosted by Salisbury University.
The month of October finds the Bison making the short trip to Towson, Md., to run at the Goucher Classic hosted by Goucher College on Oct. 6. GU will then make the short trip up to Utica Park in Frederick, Md., on Saturday, Oct. 13, to run in the Hood College Open.
The Bison will receive a week off before the 2018 NEAC cross country championship on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Lancaster, Pa.
If any Bison runners qualify for the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship that will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Center Valley, Pa., hosted by DeSales University.