Cross Country reboots


Featured Image: Top: Sophomore Ryan Koval acknowledges the fans during a Cross Country meet in Chesapeake, VA on September 1st at Bell Mill Park; Bottom: team gathers under the sunset after the meet on September 1st. Steven Goldburg | Courtesy

New coaches bring fresh energy to team

Fall is here and the Virginia Wesleyan Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams started their season off with a bang, sweeping their competition at their home meet on Sept. 1. The Marlins dominated with new head coach Dillon May at the helm in both the men’s and women’s 5000m run, as sophomore Ryan Koval placed first for the men’s race and sophomore Sydney McDonald placed first for the women’s race. It was a Marlin party on the leaderboard as nine other Marlins finished in the top ten in their respective races.

Senior Wesley Burton brings an encouraging perspective to the Men’s Cross Country and Track teams.

“Senior day is going to be a lot of fun, but ultimately the championship is our goal this year. This is the last time I’ll get a chance to chase it, and I think this is the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Burton said.

Burton ran a 24:06.59 in the 5000m and his eyes are set on cracking sub-20 minutes, as he is also recovering from an injury that occurred last season. Burton also gave some insight on what motivates him during such a tough, long race.

“Having the whole team there really motivates me, and on a personal level, you know what you’ve done in practice and that is more than one race,” said Burton.

Burton does believe that this team has something special together this year, and it starts with the coach. He shared some insight on the new assistant director, K’Vonte Scott.

“He is really smart and stresses the fact that every race is not the last and that there is always time to peak at the right time and to just trust his training,” Burton said. “Everything he does is based on science and his experience.”

This will be Scott’s second full season at VWU and his first as the assistant director. There is definitely a lot that Scott brings to the table as he ran track at the Division I level at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. During his time there, Scott became a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference Champion, C-USA Conference champion and earned NCAA Division One All-American honors.

Scott specializes in track and field but also helps coach the cross country runners. He is thankful that the transition from the Jacksonville Athletic Club to Virginia Wesleyan wasn’t as difficult as expected.

“It was a little easier because we don’t have all of the tools and resources that a Division I school has, but the work ethic is the same. A lot of the kids that I coached there are at the same level as the kids I’m trying to recruit here,” Scott said.

One thing that has stood out to Scott about the team is the diversity. He also appreciates that it is very family-oriented.

“They support and care for each other, and it is cool that everyone brings something different to the team culturally,” Scott said.

The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams have seen a lot of change recently, but it seems as though the right group of runners and coaches are here at the right time. The men’s and women’s next meet will be the CNU Invitational on Friday, Sept. 15 at Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, Va.


By: Coy Camiscioli