By Erica Henry
The Darton College men’s and women’s cross country teams are preparing for their best season on record, according to Head Coach David Mann, and some of it is, after all, just fun and games
In the middle of what has become to be known as “hell week”, the running squads took a break from the stresses of two- and three-a-day training sessions to roll the new Darton Lanes, which are housed in the new Darton student center.
“This is the first group of students we’ve hosted,” said Student Activities Director Eric O’Cain. “And this is just what these lanes are here for — to give students a break from the rigors of college life whether it’s athletics, academics, etc.”
Freshman Heath Lamb of Moultrie had the highest score, bowling a 226 before heading back to the trails to finish the day’s training.
“I’m a little surprised,” said Coach Mann. “I figured his arms would be wobbly after the pushup variations these guys endured today and I’d have an easy win. Maybe I should be sure that he and his teammates aren’t so fresh next time.”
Other freshmen men on this 2010 Cavalier team include Nathan Norton of Americus, Harold Martin of Bainbridge, Kingsley Cajuste of the Bahamas, Clay Ferguson of Leesburg, and Eric Palmer of Albany. With nine returning sophomores from the 2009 Region XVII Champions team, this is the largest and most talented team in the program’s history.
The women’s team picked up freshmen Sha Wright of Griffin, Ashley Tosky of Leesburg and Chelsea Battle of Americus. Returning from the 2009 championship team are Region XVII Individual Champion Bri Badie, Catherine Westerfield, Jade Evans and Nakora Mackey.
“I expect to pick up a couple more athletes before classes begin,” Mann said. “But even without them, we should be very strong.”
Some of the goals this season include winning both home meets held Aug. 28 (on campus) and Sept 26 (at Skiles Farm) before racing other GCAA teams to keep the Region title on Oct. 31. Darton will host the 2010 Region XVII Championship on campus.
Darton’s cross country runners were the first t try out the bowling alleys in the new Darton center. “Thi is just what these lanes are here for — to ive students a break from the rigors of college life …” said Student Activities Director Eric O’Cain.