Here Comes the Panthers
It is that time of the year again when one of the hardest sports in college starts up. It is when athletes show all of their hard work from summer and demonstrate what physical and mental strength they have gained. The cross country season has started and the Greenville men’s team looks to repeat their win at the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last year they won thanks to the team’s top six finishing in places ranging from 6th to 11th. This gave Greenville a total of 40 points which was the lowest score since 2011 for any championship winning team. This was the first men’s cross country championship that Greenville has won in five years and the 13th overall for the program.
This year’s Greenville team looks even stronger with four of last year’s six top runners returning. Two of these individuals are seniors — Nathan Potts who finished 9th and Jaylen Shelton who finished 11th. The two have been a great duo since their freshmen year and hope to bring the best out of their teammates. They even hope to lead the team to another championship. John Mangold looks to continue where he left off last year after finishing 7th at the conference meet and finishing 2nd for Greenville. This group will also be supported by sophomores’ Dylan Goodyear and Noah Dir. Goodyear is coming off of an exceptional freshman year, where he finished 10th in SLIAC’s race and was awarded as the conference’s “Newcomer of the Year”.
Greenville also has another senior joining the team, and that is Andrew Sharp, who has taken the title of Greenville’s best runner for the last three years. He is returning to the team after missing last year’s entire season. Despite this fact, Sharp is looking to take his top spot back this year. Freshmen James Suchy and Collin Kessinger look to follow in the footsteps of several successful seniors and make an impact running for Greenville’s cross-country team. The team will be coached by Brian Patton who has won 29 SLIAC championships in total, counting both men and women wins.
With all that the team has to offer, Greenville is going to push toward winning another championship in the midst of some fierce competition. The greatest competitor of the SLIAC championship is Principia, who had the top three finishers in last year’s championship. The team finished 2nd behind Greenville with 60 points. Principia is planning for all previous winners to return, so Greenville will have its work cut out for them. As senior Nathan Potts said, “Principia has three really talented runners, but we have the overall better team.” The men’s cross country team has confidence that coach Brian Patton will be able to pull everyone together and bring Greenville their 14th win in the program’s history!