With the Region XX MDJUCO Championship less than a week away, Hawks Men's Cross Country, ranked 13th in this week's USTFCCCA poll, remains focused on the challenges ahead. Collectively, they run as a group of eight, with every man never losing sight of the teammate running ahead of him. Yet each runner has a silent goal, a time to beat, a personal best to reach. With Zane (Iggy) Chalker leading the team, Head Coach, Mike Spinnler feels confident that each of his runners are acutely aware of this space and time, and by keeping teammates in sight and striving to close gaps, this team can achieve great things. "Iggy runs a smart race," said Spinnler, when asked about the team's preparation for Saturday's upcoming championship meet. "He realizes his level of fitness, and on race day never goes out too fast or too slow. He understands what he is capable of doing, and by setting standards for himself, he has emerged as a natural leader of this team." Spinnler added that in a large field of runners, having a strong leader willing to set the right pace is crucial to the success of the team as a whole.
The stage is set for the championship meet, hosted by Hagerstown CC, this Saturday, October 31st. Runners from Carroll CC, Garrett College, Harford CC, Westmoreland CC and Pennsylvania Highlands CC will gather for the women's 5K race starting at 12:00 p.m. and the men's 8K race beginning at 1:00 p.m. A total field of 35 is expected, made up of 23 men and 12 women. The field is down from the total of 86 athletes who ran in the championship last fall, due to a number of schools not holding cross country seasons because of the pandemic. This year's race will also be run without spectators in accordance with NJCAA and State of Maryland health and saftey guidelines. Racine Multisports will be timing the event and post the results on their website, https://racinemultisports.com/ .
Winners and qualifiers will be eligible to run in the 2020 NJCAA Division I, II and III National Cross Country Championships on November 14th and the 2020 NJCAA Division I Half Marathon on November 17th, hosted by Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, IA.