SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania this Saturday for the 2016 Capital Athletic Conference Championships host by Penn State University-Harrisburg, beginning 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
How we got here
The Sea Gulls competed in five separate meets during the 2016 season including two of their own. The men's team captured first on three different occasions including finishing first at both home meets, the Salisbury University Fall Classic and the 28th Annual Don Cathcart Invitational. The women placed in the top 10 in all five meets and finished as high as second twice this season.
Last time out
The Sea Gulls are coming off a first and fifth place finish at the Gettysburg Invitational. The men captured the 8,000-meter race with three different runners finishing in the top 10 led by Billy Kirk, who placed third. The women placed fifth, led by Alison Schwartz who was the only women's runner to place in the top 10, finishing 10th overall.
Salisbury at the CAC championships
Salisbury looks to regain the title for both men and women on Saturday. Between the two programs they have combined for 18 CAC Championships with the men holding the slight edge with 10 to the women's eight. The men's team captured its 10th championship in 2014 while it has been five seasons since the women's last victory in 2011.
Last season's CAC championships
Last season both teams fell short of bringing the title back to the Eastern Shore. The men's team finished in third but had four runners place in the top 20. Kirk was the top freshmen finisher at the championship placing 12th, for Rookie of the Year honoros, while Malcolm Milton was the top Salisbury finisher coming in seventh.
The women finished in fourth with two runner finishing in the top 20. Jamie Farley and Laura Hartman led the way for the Sea Gulls finishing 15th and 16th, respectively.
Leading the pack
Connor Hesselbirg will look to anchor the men this coming Saturday with a solid corps of runners surrounding him. Freshman Branson Oduor will also look to make an impact at this year's CAC championships and continue his electric freshman season which has seen him earn CAC Runner of the Week and has three top-five finishes including a first-place finish at the Don Cathcart Invitational on October 1.
On the women's side, Schwartz will look to continue her impressive 2016 campaign having finished in the top 10 three times including a third-place finish at the Salisbury University Fall Classic. Sophomore Abby Potter has also been a top runner for Salisbury with four top-15 finishes including a sixth-place finish at the Salisbury University Fall Classic in her collegiate debut.
Salisbury will look ahead next to the NCAA Division III Mideast Regionals on November 12 hosted by DeSales University. The course will be familiar to the Sea Gulls as they ran it back on October 8 at the DeSales Invitational.