The men's and women's cross country teams look to rebound following a tough 2011 season, as the Lyons hope to turn things around with a youth movement. Wheaton welcomes nine newcomers on the women's side and three freshman males.
"We hope the infusion of youth with these new team members will help reenergize the program," said 14th-year head coach Paul Carr, who led the women to a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship in 2004.
The Wheaton men placed sixth at last year's conference meet, while the women took 10th. The Lyon men also finished sixth at the 16-team Saints Invitational hosted by Emmanuel College. A pair of top-five team marks highlighted the women's season, as Wheaton brought home the bronze from the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) Tri-State Open. The Blue and White placed fifth at the Saints Invitational.
"We were disappointed in last year's results and hope to rebound this year with better results," said Carr. "Our goal has always been and will continue to be success in both the classroom and in athletic competition."
Senior captain Michael Richard (Chicopee, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) leads Wheaton's returning men, earning the squad's top individual placement in the four races he ran last year, including a 10th-place mark among more than 150 competitors at the Saints Invitational.
Sophomores Harry Bachrach (Watertown, Mass./Beaver Country Day School) and John Green (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy) round out the group of returners. Green made an immediate impact on the team during his first season in 2011 with a pair of runner-up finishes and a trio of third-place marks.
Junior Nick Emard (Griswold, Conn./Griswold) rejoins the team for the first time since his freshman season. Completing the team are first-year athletes Conner Bourgoin (Winslow, Maine/Winslow), Geoffrey Cook (Andover, Mass./Brewster Academy) and Jonathan Sproule (Trenton, Maine/Mount Desert Island).
Seven Lyons are back for the women, including senior Elizabeth Urena (Maywood, Calif./Bell). Wheaton's largest returning class is the juniors, which includes Lauren Andres (Branford, Conn./Branford), Rose Harris (Worcester, Mass./Doherty), captain Shoshana Kruskal (Newton, Mass./Newton North) and Hillary Wilson (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan). Kruskal was the team's runner-up at the 2011 NCAA New England Championship.
Sophomore Sonrisa O'Toole (Great Barrington, Mass./Monument Mountain Regional) is set for her second season, while senior Savannah Moore (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Plattsburgh) is a member of the team for the first time since her sophomore year.
Wheaton's newcomers are sophomore Ana Brenes-Coto (Monteverde, Costa Rica/Colegio Tecnico Profesional) and eight freshmen, including Massachusetts natives Faye Haley (Marblehead, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) and Morgan Johnston (Barrington, Mass./Wheeler School).
New Englanders added to the team are Georgia Crane (Greenwich, Conn./School of the Holy Child), Kim Lagasse (Stamford, Conn./Westhill), Emily Rand (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth), Jordan Silva (North Kingstown, R.I./North Kingstown) and Dagmara Sobczyk (Farmington, Conn./Farmington), while Eleanor Allen (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside School) ventured to Wheaton from the opposite side of the country.
For the first time in Carr's tenure, the Lyons will compete in six races in a seven-week span, beginning with Saturday's Fens Classic at Emmanuel. The women tied for second in the five-school field, while the men placed third. The women knotted the hosts with 52 points, and the men's 73 points were seven shy of Emmanuel for second place.
This year's NEWMAC Championship is slated for Oct. 27 at Smith College.