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Run it back: Cross Country to kick off ’18 season at JSU

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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy Cross Country team looks to build off its 2017 campaign with a plethora of returning talent on the men’s and women’s sides.

The team returns its entire roster from last season and will be joined by six freshman runners.

“We’re excited to have the experience and guys who know what it takes to succeed,” said Brennan Garriques, a senior social science major from Canton, Georgia. 

Garriques also says more depth will help the team in case of injury or fatigue.

Last season at the Sun Belt Championship in November, the men’s team had four runners finish in the top 25. This was the second-highest finish for the men’s team in Troy history.

All four runners of those runners will return this fall. Garriques, Sawyer Sprung, Brackin Stewart and Bradley Dixon all return for their senior seasons. 

The women’s team returns all of its runners from last year, too. 

A trio of freshman, Kara Coulter, Christie Caruana and Macki Walsh, who led the girls at the Sun Belt Championships, all returned for their sophomore seasons. 

The team will compete at four meets this season. Two of which will take place at Jacksonville State University on Aug. 31 and Sept. 29. 

The other two are set to take place at the University of South Alabama and Florida State University on Sept. 7 and Oct. 12, respectively. 

The FSU Invitational will be one the team focuses on in preparation for the NCAA South Regional. 

“The FSU meet on Oct. 12 is important because it’s the same course we run regionals at,” said Garriques. “So at that time, we’ll be in better shape.”

Then the team travels again to Mobile for the Sun Belt Conference Championships on Oct. 27 before heading back to Tallahassee, Florida, for the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 9. 

The Trojans kick off the 2018 season this Friday, Aug. 31, competing in the JSU Struts Season Opener in Oxford.