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Cross country dashes into season

The 2012 season for Waldorf College cross country has officially begun, as the men and women’s teams traveled to the Central Dutch Invitational in Pella, Iowa on Saturday Sept. 1.

Women’s Cross Country taking off for the start of their season (Cody Clark)

The Warrior men debuted in the 6K, or 3.728 mile race, with three new faces on the team. Josh Calteux, a senior who transferred to Waldorf from Arizona State in order to continue his college wrestling career, decided to come out and run for the men’s team in this his final semester of school. In his debut race, Calteux covered the 3.728 mile course in 33:08.9.

The other two members of the Waldorf men’s team, Alejandro Sanchez and Cody Clark, are out of state freshmen in their first season of collegiate competition. Sanchez, from Plano, Texas, finished his debut race in 27th place, turning in a solid time of 21:24.7. Fellow freshman Clark, from Lexington, SC, covered the 6K course in 23:44.4.

“I would have liked to see our times a little faster, but it was not exactly ideal circumstances because pretty much the whole team was sick the week leading up to the race. When healthy, I know we all have some great races in us” Sanchez said.

Senior Dana Miller, junior Crystal Langford, and sophomores Ashley Brinkman and Jenna Tegtmeyer make up the women’s team, and they too debuted in Pella on Saturday. Tegtmeyer led the way for the Warriors, as her 23:58.5 placed her 28th overall. Miller, who is in her last season as a senior, covered the 5k course (3.106 miles) in 24:16.

“Dana is putting everything she has into her last year of collegiate running. She has proven herself as a team leader already this season, and is always optimistic and positive as well as intrinsically motivated to do well this year,” head coach Missy Reynolds said.

Brinkman is a dual sport athlete, competing in softball as well as running. She posted a 27:26 in her first race, and Langford, who is running for the second year, posted a 39:11.1 5K.

“Like the guys team, the women’s team has also been plagued with injuries and illnesses during our pre-season. We’re confident that once everyone is healthy, personal records (PR’s) will be set,” Reynolds said.

With this new season comes a conference change for the college. By participating in the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) last year, the Warriors move to the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) for competition this year and beyond.

“I think the change in conferences will allow us to be more competitive at the conference meet come November, as well as in the future. We are going to have a real shot at sending athletes to Nationals,” said Reynolds.

While the first meet did not go exactly how the Warriors would have liked, the athletes have the whole season still ahead of them with many opportunities ahead.

“I’m excited to see the program grow with such quality men and women who are at Waldorf for academics and a love of running,” Reynolds said. “The future of Waldorf College cross country is definitely a bright one.”