Men’s Cross Country Aiming for a Repeat

Men’s Cross Country Aiming for a Repeat

The 2014 Susquehanna men's cross country has lofty – but certainly attainable – aspirations for the upcoming season. Coming off a Landmark title in 2013, the program's fifth in seven years, the Crusaders expect even better results this fall. And the other conference schools expect similar results as SU was selected first in the Landmark Preseason Poll.

"We have big goals this season," 12th-year head coach Marty Owens said. "We want to repeat as champions and be top five in the region."

While those goals could create too much pressure for other teams, Owens knows his team is on the same page and has the talent to achieve whatever level of success they set for themselves.

"The sky is the limit for these guys," he continued. "We just need to stay healthy and focused."

The Crusaders return a very strong and experienced top seven runners, all of which were key members of last year's title team. Junior Colin Eberhardt led the team at the NCAA Division III regional meet a year ago and seniors Alex Price and Paul Crowe boast talent, experience and leadership.
Juniors John Crowe and Dan Isenberg along with senior Evan Skelton join that top group of runners with anywhere from 4-5 runners capable of filling the seven and eight slots. Senior classmates Austin Iovoli and Scott Sullivan easily have the ability to secure one of those spots as do all three of the team's freshmen: Andrew Steely, Kyle Skelton and Eric Pressler.

Owens stated this group was ahead of last year's championship team at the same point of preseason. In fact, he believes this team undoubtedly has the talent to be one of the most successful in program history, perhaps reaching the level of success of the 2009 squad which placed sixth in the region, the highest regional finish for any team under Owens.

Susquehanna's title defense begins on Aug. 30 at the Bison Open, hosted by Bucknell University. First-year conference member Elizabethtown adds an element of the unknown to this year's battle for the Landmark title. Owens is confident, though, that his team can fend off any threat from fellow Landmark Conference institutions at the championship meet on Nov. 1 at Goucher College. The NCAA Regionals follow two weeks later.