This year should be a smooth transition for the Northwestern cross country squads. Last spring, coaches Dale Thompson and Nate Wolf swapped roles. Now Wolf will be the head coach while Thompson stays on as assistant coach.
Although the women’s squad graduated three top runners, their team possesses wonderful potential centering around the remaining five of last year’s top eight runners. Senior Teresa Kerkvliet will step into the top spot. Not far behind her are sophomores Dawn Gildersleeve and Allison Weeldryer, and juniors Corrine Muyskens and Leslie Stover.
Coach Wolf expressed excitement in the fact that “the top five runners on the women’s squad were less than 40 seconds apart. That is a great one to five spread, and I think that they can decrease that time even more over the course of the season.”
Only having lost two of their top eight runners, the men’s squad looks to contend at the same level they did last year. Sophomore Zach Wittenberg and juniors Sean Guthmiller and Jesse Baldwin are strong returning runners who will continue to push the limits for the men. Also, there are talented newcomers who could make a run for top spots.
“The men are very young and will have to adjust to racing as a team over the college distance,” Coach Wolf said.
Wolf has high hopes for both squads this year and knows there is potential for very successful seasons.