The University of Dayton men’s and women’s cross country teams host the annual Flyer 5K, Saturday, Sept. 1.
This will be the first race of the season for both teams. The teams in attendance will be Cedarville University, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Ohio State University, Urbana University, Wittenberg University, Wright State University and Cleveland State University, who will only have a women’s team compete.
On the UD women’s team, senior leaders Marisa Slomski and Taylor Beyerle have been members of the team since their freshman year. They are both excited to share their last Flyer 5K race together.
“The Flyer 5K is something everyone on the team looks forward to,” said Slomski. “Everyone is pretty anxious to get the first meet underway to see how well their training went over the summer and where they finish on the team. Overall, the meet is high intensity with lots of Flyer fans coming out to support us. Plus, there is a cookout after the meet for everyone to hang out with their fans and family.”
Beyerle said she echoed Slomski’s thoughts.
“It will be exciting to watch our top seven unfold throughout the season, since I think it will be changing each meet,” said Beyerle. “Our team is very young this year, so it will be fun to see the girls race for the first time at Flyer 5K while the older girls step up and lead them through the race.”
The women’s team not only welcomed six new freshmen to the team this year, but they also hired a new head coach in Sarah Haveman. Haveman will also be the assistant track coach for distance runners. She comes to Dayton from Purdue University where she was the assistant coach for the track and cross country teams.
Haveman said the strategy for the women’s team this weekend will be to run as group and have a solid effort.
“I will be holding a few athletes out of this meet to do some training with them that will better suit our team goals we have set for October and November,” she said.
The 21-member team has set high goals this season. One is to win the Atlantic 10 Conference championship meet. The team won the conference title three years ago when this year’s senior class were freshmen.
“Our goal this season is to win A-10s, which has not been done in three years, and to place under 9th place in the regional meet, which would set a new [women’s cross country] accomplishment,” Slomski said.
Meanwhile, men’s head coach Rich Davis said his team’s strategy for this weekend’s race will be to keep his first through fifth runners within 38 seconds of each other.
“By running as a ‘pack,’ we very possibly can defeat another team whose top-five men run a faster cumulative time,” he said.
The men’s team has a strong, leading senior class returning this season. The six men are: Nate Addessi, Derek Bornhorst, Stephen Mackell, Kyle Lowry, Jeremy Schiele and redshirt senior Greg Roeth.
“The thing I look forward to most this year is getting to watch the juniors step up and become leaders as I prepare to graduate,” said Roeth. “You can expect to see a lot of maturity from our team this year. We didn’t have anyone from the team graduate last year, so we have a team that’s been through all this before.”
The men’s team also has added four new freshmen to the group this year.
“We will open the season at the Flyer 5K by setting a tone of team competitiveness,” said Davis. “The team will be working for ongoing improvement throughout the season. This will be measured on an individual basis by our runners achieving personal best times.”
This season, the Atlantic 10 coaches predicted the women’s team to finish second place at the A-10 Championships in October. The men’s team was selected to finish in fifth place at the championship.
The Flyer 5K will be run at Indian Riffle Park at the Kettering Recreation Complex in Kettering, Ohio. The men’s race begins at 10:45 a.m. and is followed by the women’s race at 11:15 a.m. Admission to the race is free.