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Women's Cross Country - Thu, Sep. 7, 2017

MARION, Ind. – A new season of Indiana Wesleyan University women’s cross country commences on Friday as the Wildcats host the IWU Twilight Invitational at 5 p.m.

Indiana Wesleyan returns four runners that helped the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the Crossroads League and a top-25 performance at the NAIA National Championship in 2016. Head coach John Foss enters his 30th season as cross country coach and he took some time to talk about the 2017 season.

Q:  Can you share with us about returning runners from last season’s team?
A:  “We no longer have Sarah McBeath and she was certainly our No. 1 runner last year. She is an outstanding young lady and we definitely miss her. Almost ready to step into Sarah’s shoes, as she is not very far behind, is Rebecca Groh. She is a junior and every year she has gotten progressively better. This year she looks great in practice and I am excited to see where she can go as a runner. Right behind Rebecca, or maybe with her before we are done, is Caitlyn Chastain. She has had a great career for us as she enters her senior year. We have Londyn Wise who had a strong first year but struggled the past two. However, she is back and looking very, very good. Jessica Sprinkle and Erin Couwenhoven were freshmen last year who are ready to have terrific sophomore years. They have both improved dramatically and did so in track season as well. Kinsey McBeath is a senior who is having the best preseason of her life.”

Q:  What new runners should we be watching for?
A:  Annie McBeath, who is the sister of Kinsey, should be very strong for us. I was very impressed with Jill Van Dyk of the Chicago area who was a middle distance runner that has been really good in practice. Alexis Echelberry was also brought in as a very solid freshman. There are more girls on the team that will battle for those top-seven spots.”

Q:  How does this group grow in their faith?  
A:  “This is a mature group. We have more juniors and seniors than we do on the men’s side. They are committed to doing the little things right and to be Christ-centered in all that they do. We talk a lot about vision and worshipping God through our running and our attitudes. We have also added the idea of generosity and have spent a lot of time on that.”

Q:  How does the 2017 schedule look?
“We have a good start with our own meet and followed by a league preview meet at Marian University. It gives up back-to-back meets that are kind of small and are good intro meet. This year we are going to Louisville at the end of September and then turn around and go to Kenosha, Wisconsin in October for a large meet that will give us a national caliber field. We follow that with a meet at Bethel. We finish with the Great Lakes Challenge as the last regular season meet and that is always a good NAIA meet. Then our league championship this year is at Marian in Indianapolis on the first Saturday of November.”

Q:  How does Indiana Wesleyan look vs. the Crossroads League?
A:  “For the fifth year in a row we will try to upset Taylor. They are the easy favorites and were well ahead of us in the nationals. We are hoping to turn that around this year but it will be a challenge as this may be the best Taylor team that I have seen. There has been a gap after the top two in the league but Mount Vernon Nazarene is getting better, Marian is getting better, and there’s Bethel and Grace. There are some teams there that are lurking. But our focus is on winning the league and to do that we will have to overcome some talent on the Taylor side.”

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