In our latest installment of the Non-Revenue Sports Recaps, we look back at the 2017 seasons of the men’s and women’s cross country programs. The fall sport has distance runners race through various terrain on courses that range anywhere from 5 kilometers to 10 kilometers. The women typically race over 5k (except at the regional meet where they race over 6k) and the men typically run 8k (except at the regional meet where they run 10k). The cross country program is guided by director of track & field/cross country Amy Deem, with direct coaching duties performed by Assistant Coach for distance and cross country Damon Griffiths (shoutout to Coach Deem and Coach Griff, who coached me during my time at The U). This past season was Coach Deem’s 10th with the cross country program (and 27th with the school overall) and Coach Griffiths’ 10th with the cross country program.
The men were led this season by senior Sean Grossman and graduate transfer Nathan Kuck. Grossman has been the Canes’ top runner over his first 3 seasons with the program, and remained a strong competitor this season, as the Dix Hills, NY native leaves the program with the 2nd best 8k time in school history (24:35.4). Grossman held the school record until this season’s ACC Championships, when Nathan Kuck shattered the mark with a time of 24:09.2. Kuck’s time was good for 28th place, which was the highest-ever individual finish for the men’s program. Teams are scored at cross country meets by adding the places of their top 5 finishers, and the men’s team secured their highest-ever finish at the ACC Championships with a 370 points for 13th place. The ACC is an extremely-competitive conference, featuring perennial powerhouses Syracuse, Virginia, NC State and Virginia Tech.
The Lady Canes had a mix of talented youth and experience as freshman Maryam Jawid and junior Anne Den Otter paced the women’s program this season. Jawid was the Canes fastest performer at every meet this season, including top-10 finishes at the Mountain Dew Invitational, the FAU Invitational, and the USF Invitational. Her performance at the Mountain Dew Invite earned her a ACC Freshman of the Week nod. The Chicago, IL native finished her freshman campaign ranked sixth all-time in the 5k and third all-time in the 6k. Den Otter was the Canes’ #2 finisher at each meet, and her personal best performance of 18:26 at the Mountain Dew Invite ranks seventh all-time for 5k in school history. The West Lawn, PA native also holds the school record in the indoor 1000m while competing for the Canes Track & Field team.
Stay tuned next week for our last installment of the Non Revenue Sport Recaps.