Men's Cross Country Prepares For 2008 Fall Season

Sept. 3, 2008

By Kevin Mullaney
Special to GoHolyCross.com

As summer slowly fades and fall creeps in, the men's cross country team looks ahead to its upcoming season. After a busy offseason and an active preseason, the Crusaders are prepared to see the benefits of their hard work and intense mileage come into fruition.

The men's team will look to senior captain Brad Mish (Hadley, Mass.) to provide veteran leadership for this coming season. Mish, who also served as captain last year, is accustomed to the extra responsibility his role demands and enters the year eager to lead his teammates. "I'm sure that I am expected to lead by example at all times within and beyond the realm of the actual running," explained Mish. "I will do my best to serve my team to the best of my ability."

Alongside Mish, juniors Kyle Rougeot (Torrington, Conn.) and Tim Richard (Attleboro, Mass.) have been leading the pack this preseason and are anticipated to be among the top three scorers this year. Last year Rougeot led the team to a sixth place finish at the National Catholic Championship finishing with a personal best 8k time of 26:02. He also led the way for the Crusaders at the New England Championship and at the Patriot League Championship. Richard was the top scorer for the team at last year's Fordham Invitational, and also was the second fastest runner for Holy Cross at last year's New England Championship.

Head coach Jim Kavanagh is also expecting sophomores Chris Bergan (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Vincent Fata (Hawthorne, N.Y.) to strengthen the team this year. "With the help of Chris and Vinny, it's possible for our strong top five to be a strong top seven," said Kavanagh. "Within the Patriot League we believe we can move up one or two places as we have the depth to do so."

Mish echoes Kavanagh's sentiment and is also excited about the potential success of the 2008 Crusaders. "I expect the team to have improved greatly from last year based on the fact that we lost no members to graduation, improved our training and gained several freshmen ready to make an immediate impact."

The Crusaders anticipate their newcomers will be able to contribute to the team's success. Kavanagh describes Cory Loftis (Branford, Conn.) as a solid addition who has the potential to break into the top seven immediately. He also expects contributions from Jack Heinrich (Tulsa, Okla.) and steeple-chaser Dan Altenau (Eastchester, N.Y).

Other returning letterwinners for the Crusaders include seniors Sebastian Fidelus (Jersey City, N.J.), Kevin Lucid (New Providence, N.J) and Matthew Talbot (Garden City, N.Y.) as well as junior Garrett Huddy (Columbus, Ohio). They are all expected to challenge for the top seven spots.

"We're ready for a great season," said Talbot. "Everyone has been working hard and training consistently so we are excited to get started and see what we can do."

The Crusaders begin the 2008 season this Friday, September 5, when they travel to Central Connecticut to compete in the Blue Devil Invitational. The men's 8k is set to start at 5:30 p.m.

The team will again compete in the New England Championship on October 11 in Boston, Mass. and the Patriot League Championship on November 1 in Bethlehem, Pa.