Chris Welch is back as head coach and he’s hoping that his mixture of youth and experience will be able to rack up a few wins for the cross country team.
Welch will have three seniors and a handful of underclasswomen to try and record the quickest times on cross country tracks in the area.
Erin Fanikos, Deirdre Cahill and Michelle Hurwitz are all the senior leaders that Welch will lean on for the season to make sure the younger runners understand the rigors and work it takes to become a better and faster distance runner.
“The seniors set the tone with their attitude for how they are going to approach the work and how they are going to approach the practices,” said Welch. “They teach the other runners what it means to be a cross country runner every day.”
Fanikos and Hurwitz have been with the program for the last three years, while Cahill is entering her second season as a distance runner for the Ducks.
Welch has four freshman on the roster, but it could be the performance of sophomore Collette O’Connor that helps the Ducks separate from their opponents this season in the meets.
O’Connor returns for her second season, and Welch said she was the runner who posted some of the fastest times on the team last season. Her forward progress will be very important this season for Welch and he is looking forward to seeing the work that O’Connor has put in during the offseason.
“We are hoping she can continue taking it to the next level,” said Welch.
Youth and experience. It’s a balance that every team needs to have to put together a successful team and the Ducks might have just the balance to post some victories in the smaller and bigger meets this season.