A corps of experienced runners has the Cayuga Community College Cross Country teams ready as they prepare for the first meet of the season.
The Spartans are coming off a solid 2018 season, with the Women's Team the returning Mid-State Athletic Conference Champions and the Men's Team finishing third in the conference. The Spartans are looking to build on that success, with Coach Toni Giannettino saying she's excited for both teams' potential in 2019.
Cayuga enters the 2019 season with only one returning runner, Megan Swartwood, from the previous season. Despite only having one returning runner, there's plenty of experience on this year's teams, said Giannettino.
"The runners on our men's and women's teams have significant running experience in high school, which we haven't always had. In the past, we've had runners join our team after they were finished playing other sports in high school, but this year's teams have runners who committed to cross country before even enrolling in Cayuga," said Giannettino. "That experience should help as the season starts."
As usual, some of the scheduled invitationals this season will feature runners from four-year schools, meaning that added experience on the Spartans' teams will help during competition.
"We'll be running against some experienced teams at these meets, but they're not in our conference like Finger Lakes and Onondaga Community College are," said Giannettino. "These meets are challenging, but we're looking forward to the competition."
The Spartans are finishing their time trials in preparation for the launch of the season, starting with an away meet in the Bruce Bridgman Invitational at Finger Lakes Community College on Saturday, Sept. 7. The opening meet starts with the men's meet at 11 a.m. and the women's meet at 11:45 a.m.
Giannettino added that she's recruiting additional runners for both the men's and women's teams. Anyone interested in joining the Spartans can contact Giannettino at firstname.lastname@example.org.