Monday, August 28, 2017

2017 Wilkes Men's and Women's Cross Country Preview: Build on Bests

WILKES-BARRE – The Wilkes University men's and women's cross country teams are set for the 2017 season after a fall full of record breaking performances last season. Nick Wadas enters his tenth season as head coach of the program and looks to have the team set personal and team bests.

On the men's side four of the top seven times in school history were set in 2016 by Franco Balbuena during a stellar freshman season. He set the school record time of 26:31 in the 8k at the NCAA Mideast Regional and earned Second Team All-Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) honors. Balbuena was named the MAC Men's Runner of the Week for the week of October 10th when he broke what was then the school record with a time of 27:02 at the DeSales Invitational.

Also returning to the course for Wilkes on the men's side are senior Kendrick Schell along with sophomores Matthew Houser, Jason Montemuro, Nicholas Moullette, Alan Sebastianelli, Kevin Singhel, Killian Sloan, and Ryan Weber.

They will be joined by four newcomers to the program looking to make an impact. Sophomore Kevin Long and freshmen Colin Ahrensfield, Noah Molina, and Blade Tirado. "All the freshmen on our team have the possibility of helping us become a higher scoring team," Wadas said. "Our goal is to beat our best performances from the past in our conference."

The women's side returns six members to the team including four seniors. Michelle Brenneman, Carmen Hillman, Kaitlyn Sitch, and Moriah Teed will provide the leadership as upperclassmen. "Half the team is seniors and they have been improving every season and I look for that to continue," Wadas said. "The goal is to have each member have their best season to date."

Also returning to the course for Wilkes will be sophomores Caroline Rickard and Kaitlin Sutton. The team earned the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association 2016 All-Academic Team Award with its combined 3.10 grade point average last fall.

Wadas will welcome in Faith Jensen and Autumn Pedron as freshmen this season.

The men's and women's cross country teams kick off their respective seasons on Friday, September 1 at the Misericordia Invitational at 6:00 p.m.

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