Cross country team prepares for 2015 season

By Paul Morgan

BREVARD, N.C. - Brevard College distance coach Josh Mower has high hopes for the 2015 season with a revamped team that can be competitive in the South Atlantic Conference.

Mower’s roster for the season includes two All-SAC team members plus a recruiting class that includes five women and five men that joined the Tornados this fall.

“I really didn’t have much choice. We lost three seniors to graduation last May, and that left us with nowhere to go but up. We will be very young again this fall,” the coach said, “but we have talent that I expect to develop pretty quickly.

“It’s great to finally have the numbers we need,” Mower added. “This group is already a close-knit family and all of them are great fits for our program and for the college.”

Hannah Cook from Havelock, North Carolina, will anchor the women’s team after an all-conference first team season as a junior and is the only senior on the entire roster. She will be supported by juniors Madison Smith and Elena Raygoza, sophomore Leah Jostes and newcomers Kristen Mirones, Melia Milna, Ruby Lewis, Darcy Bass and Rebecca Martin.

“Hannah is a great performer and a real team leader,” Coach Mower said. “Leah (Jostes) is recovering from an ugly ankle injury sustained during our recent running camp, but should be fit pretty soon. I’ll be interested to see how Ruby (Lewis) comes along. She has the potential to be a top three finisher for us.”

One the men’s side, juniors Micah Voelzow and Brent Turner bring the most experience. Turner, a transfer from the University of Louisiana-Monroe, will not be eligible until January. Sophomore Hassan Kiprono returns to Brevard after being named SAC All-Conference second team last year. Rounding out the men’s roster are sophomores Caleb Stanley and Sidney Noble and freshmen Asa Smith, Nate Leahy and Jordan Lance.

Noble is a transfer student from Virginia. Kiprono is a steadily improving runner from Kenya. Smith will enroll at the college in January.

“A year ago, we had only four males on the team,” Coach Mower said. “These greater numbers mean that everyone will have a training partner to push them every day. I’m particularly looking for Kiprono and Noble to step up as leaders this fall.”

BC opens the cross country season Sept. 4 at the Catawba College Invite, then will travel to the Furman University XC Classic Sept. 12.

If you want to see the Tornados up close, BC will host its first cross country meet since 2012 on September 25 at Glen Cannon Country Club. The BC XC Invitational, also dubbed the Twilight Invite, will host four visiting college teams, plus high school runners and local amateurs. “It’s an open invitational,” Coach Mower said. “Glen Cannon is a great place to watch cross country, and we’ll begin to see what kind of team we’ll have this year.” To view the flier for the invitational click here.

To keep up with all the latest information about the Tornados, “Like” our Brevard College Tornado Athletics Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @BCTornados.

Paul Morgan is a retired journalist and journalism professor.

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