Cross country has high expectations for the 2017 CAC championships

Cross country has high expectations for the 2017 CAC championships

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Newport News, Virginia and the campus of Christopher Newport University to compete in the 2017 Capital Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, October 28. The meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

Follow the championships

To view the men's cross country CAC championship preview video, click here

To view the women's cross country CAC championship preview video, click here

To view the championship page, click here

How we got here

The maroon and gold have competed in four meets this season traveling for two of them while hosting two, as well. Salisbury started off the 2017 campaign hosting the annual Salisbury University Fall Classic in which both teams captured second-place finishes. After a trip to Massachusetts to compete in the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational, where both teams garnered top-10 finishes, the teams returned home to compete in the Don Cathcart Invitational. The men earned a first-place finish while the women took second being edged out by Division II East Stroudsburg University. The Sea Gulls capped off the regular season with a trip to Rowan University to compete in the Inter-Regional Border Battle.

Last time out

In Salisbury's last meet, the Gulls traveled to the Inter-Regional Border Battle. The meet consisted of some of the top teams in the region and teams Salisbury will see in a few weeks at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. Both team's turned in solid performances with the men's team finishing ninth and the women finishing 16th overall.

Senior Alison Schwartz led the women's team with a 46th-place finish coming home in a time of 23:08.5 to earn the top-50 finish. Meanwhile Branson Oduor paced the men's team with a top-20 finish crossing the finish line in a time of 25:20.1 to place 17th overall.      

Salisbury at the CAC championships

The Salisbury cross country programs have earned 18 CAC championships throughout the programs' history with the men's team garnering 10 titles while the women have picked up eight. The most recent championship for the men's team came in 2014 while the women have not won it since 2011. Both teams swept the CAC championships in 2006, 2008, and most recently in 2010.  

Last season's CAC championships

In last season's championships, both teams came up just short of bringing home the title as each team finished third out of the nine competing teams. The men were led by then senior Connor Hesselbirg, who captured an 11th-place finish coming home in a time of 26:52.6, and earned his second consecutive second-team All-CAC honor.

The women were paced by Schwartz, who was the only runner male or female to pick up a top-10 finish, as she finished 10th overall. Schwartz crossed the finish line in a time of 24:01.0 and earned first-team All-CAC honors.   

Leading the pack

The men's team is led by Oduor, who has finished in the top-20 in every single meet thus far this season for the maroon and gold. Oduor's best finishes came at UMass-Dartmouth and Don Cathcart where he earned third-place finishes in both. David Strickland will also look to add his name to the mix of leaders for the Sea Gulls as he has posted two top-three finishes this season including a victory at the Don Cathcart on September 30.  

The women are led by senior Schwartz, who has top-50 finishes in every meet this season including two top-10 finishes. Her highest finish came in the season's opening week at the Fall Classic where she finished third overall. The team will also look to Christine Sturm, who has garnered two top-10 finishes this season including a second-place finish at the Fall Classic.     

Up next

Salisbury will travel to Carlisle, Pennsylvania on November 11 to compete in NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship hosted by Dickinson College. This will be the first time the Sea Gulls have run at Dickinson since 2014 when the men's and women's teams finished 10th and 24th, respectively. The meet is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.     

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