Fall Preview: Cross Country
WILMORE, Ky. – Head coach Randy Crist is coming off his teams’ most successful season in recent memory. Crist’s teams sent four runners—Caleb Mootispaw, Todd Yoder, Kim Miller, and Justine Vonderheide—to the NAIA Championships at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in 2012.
The good news for Crist and the Eagles runners? All four return this season. Vonderheide will be the upperclassman of the bunch, entering her junior season, while the other three all begin the season as sophomores.
Looking from Last Season to Now
On the men’s side, the Eagles finished the season as the second-best team at the KIAC, 68 points behind conference powerhouse Berea. Mootispaw and Yoder finish 10th and 11th, respectively, to garner the nods for the NAIA Championships.
The women followed suit, but were able to finish much closer to the top spot. With a first-place finish from Miller and a seventh-place finish from Vonderheide the Eagles missed out on the KIAC Title by just two points.
Both teams took home first place in the opening meet of the year, their own Chik-Fil-A Invitational, and the final meet of the year, the Late Knight’s Run at Kentucky Christian.
The Eagles sights are set even higher this year, with each of their national qualifiers returning and adding four runners on the women’s side and five on the men’s.
What to watch for
The Eagles will compete in six scheduled meets this season prior to the KIAC Championships on November 9.
The season opens with the only home meet of the season, the Chik-Fil-A Invitational on August 31. From there the Eagles head to Danville, Ky., on September 14 for Centre College’s Invitational. The next week Berea College hosts another invitational in nearby Berea, Ky.
October will see the Eagles run three times—Greater Louisville Classic (10/5), Fast Cats Classic (10/12), and the Kentucky Christian Invitational (10/26).
From there it’s all postseason for the Eagles. The KIAC Championships will be November 9, at Midway College in Midway, Ky. For those that qualify, the NAIA Championships will be held two weeks later in Lawrence, Kan.
Randy Crist is beginning his 6th year at the helm of the men’s and women’s cross country programs at Asbury and his 31st overall in coaching. During his time he has helped eight runners qualify for the NAIA National Championship Meet, including four runners--two men and two women--last season and one in each of his previous four years.