ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University cross country teams head into the 2019 season looking to improve upon last year's results under new head coach James Diamond. The schedule this season features six meets leading up to the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championships on Saturday, November 2.
- This year's team features two returners and five new incoming student-athletes.
- Junior Elina Lynge Wagner and sophomore Natalia Kucharczyk return for their third and second seasons respectively in a Regent uniform. Wagner's top performance last year came at the NACC Cross Country Championships, while Kucharczyk set a new personal best at the KollegeTown Pre National Meet.
- Senior Maddy Pearson will be competing for the first time on the cross country team this fall. However, Pearson has a lot of experience running for the Regents, as she holds the indoor school record in the 4x400 meter relay and outdoor school records in the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relays.
- Junior Annabelle Stefanic is entering her first year of competitive running and should be an immediate top five runner for the team this season.
- Sophomore Kellie Frerichs is the current frontrunner for the team, as she enters her first year as a competitive runner. Frerichs has shown a lot of promise and potential to the point where she could break into the RU top 10 all-time list.
- Freshman Taylor Mundt rounds out the female runners, and has already shown signs of being able to make an immediate impact with the team.
- Newcomer Antoine Callebaut brings a lot of competitive experience with him. This should help him transition into longer distance running and allow him to compete at a high level in the NACC.
"We have a very inexperienced team; however, everyone is bringing a lot of positive energy and a desire to excel to program," Coach Diamond stated. "Early on, we will be cautious in our training in order for our athletes to get as much race experience as they can. By staying healthy and gaining experience, we will be a sneaky good team when conference rolls around. In this first week, we already have a few athletes who are showing signs of being able to challenge our top 10 all-time list."
The Rockford University cross country teams open their seasons at the Beloit College Early Bird on Saturday, August 31. The race will take place at the Kieselburg Forest Preserve with a start time of 10:30 AM.