Cross Country Players Going to Nationals

Caitlin Dorsch ~ Copy Desk Chief

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Sophomore Kaitlyn Johnson running in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regionals on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Photo retrieved from Lynchburg Sports Website 

The University of Lynchburg men’s and women’s cross country team competed in the 2018 NCAA Division III South/Southeast Region Championships last weekend.  The men’s team placed sixth and the women’s team placed seventh overall. Three runners, freshman Max Sparks, senior Tristan Lucy-Speidel, and sophomore Kaitlyn Johnson had fast enough to qualify for the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held on Saturday, November 17 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Both Johnson and Sparks believe that their team is the reason why they have qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship meet.  

Johnson said, “Lynchburg Cross Country truly is a team that knows how to turn the suffering and grind of training into something special.”  

Sparks insisted, “I worked hard this year as a freshman.  Coming in to my first year of college cross country I was out of shape, and knew it would be hard to get to where I need to be.  Luckily with the help of my coaches and teammates, I’ve been able to get back in shape. I’ve worked hard every day, and constantly pushing myself to become great.  The team has helped a lot too. As a freshman they knew it would be hard to adjust to everything. But thankfully they have always had my back when I’m struggling. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.  I couldn’t ask for a better team or school to represent than the University of Lynchburg.”

Freshman Sparks also said, “The team at Lynchburg is more than just a team. We are a family. Always making sure everyone is doing well, having fun with each other, and hoping everyone does well at workouts and meets.”  

Like Sparks, Johnson believes that the cross country is a tight-knit family as well.  Johnson stated, “My team and has always been there to support me and have helped me grow and improve so much in the past year of running at Lynchburg. They have pushed me during workouts, kept me company every day on runs, and made every day fun. They are my best friends and family. I get to talk to them about anything, they’re there through the good times and the bad and that’s how they’ve helped me get to where I am. I know that we’re all going to do great things this year on the track because I see them work hard for it every day!”