NEWBERRY — Phil Peterson, head cross country coach at Newberry College, has added five runners for the 2017 season.
The new additions include three women and two men with four of them being freshman and one sophomore transfer.
“We have a solid team, with most all of last years’ performers from both the SAC and NCAAs meets returning. With a year of experience, and the addition of a couple of new runners, it will be exciting to see how this team will perform,” Peterson said.
D’Angelo Shannon is a sophomore transfer from Spartanburg Methodist College and a graduate of Westwood High School in Columbia. He was a two-year performer in high school in track and field. Shannon was also a top five varsity scorer for SMC’s cross country team last year.
Justin Oglesby is a freshman from Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Ga. He was a three year varsity performer in both cross country and track. Oglesby was also a varsity runner for the Georgia 5A Boys 2017 State Championship track team.
Claudia Cannon is a freshman from Blythewood High School in Columbia. Cannon is a six time Region 5-4A Champion in cross country and track. She is also a ten time 4A All-State performer in cross country and track.
Anne Bouwkamp is a freshman from Landrum High School in Landrum. She is a four year runner for Landrum, which is a perennial championship contending 2A track and cross country program in the Upstate.
Diana Gutierrez is a freshman from Mid-Carolina High School in Prosperity. She is a multi-year performer in both track and cross country for Mid-Carolina.
“In the early going it looks as though Hayden Francis is emerging as the top women’s runner, with Claudia Cannon, Diana Gutierrez, and Michelle Ling vying for the next several slots,” as Peterson reflects on the upcoming season. “For the men, Quinn Wilson is leading with Jorge Hernandez, Caleb Bouwkamp, and Carlos Hernandez following closely.”
Newberry’s men’s and women’s cross country programs will race on several occasions starting Sept. 2 at the Palmetto State Cross Country Festival in Columbia, starting at 9 a.m.
Sept. 8 Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational Hickory, N.C. 6 p.m.
Sept. 16 Winthrop/Adidas Invitational Rock Hill 9 a.m.
Sept. 30 USC Upstate Invitational Spartanburg 9 a.m.
Oct. 6 Fighting Owls Invitational Asheville, N.C. 5 p.m.
Oct. 21 2017 South Atlantic Conference Cross Country Championships Newton, N.C. TBA
Nov. 4 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Wingate, N.C. TBA
“We always point towards the SAC Championship meet in late October. This year it is hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina,” Peterson said. “While we’ll have some very competitive mid-season meets at Winthrop and USC-Upstate, the SAC Championship is always our focus.”
Both men’s and women’s teams are more experienced, having mostly seniors and juniors on the rosters. This has Peterson looking forward to measuring his squads up against other conference teams. His expectations are definitely high for this season, expecting to see improvement in the team standings at the SAC Championship meet.
In the recent 2017 SAC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country poll, Newberry received 12 and 14 points respectively. Mars Hill (men) and Queens (women) are slated to take the 2017 campaign.