The SFCC men and women’s cross country programs are getting set to begin their inaugural seasons.

Both teams will begin the season on Saturday, Sept. 4 at the SBU (Southwest Baptist University) Bearcat Cross Country Invitational in Bolivar.

Head Coach Brad Hagedorn has been pleased with the progress made by both teams in the preseason.

“I could not be happier with how practices have gone so far,” said Hagedorn. “Our progress has been phenomenal. We have avoided injuries up to this point. After three weeks of practice, we think we are ready for a competition. Our progression has been good."

Coach Hagedorn has seen team leaders emerge from both teams.
“For the ladies our leadership has come from Korry Davis,” said Hagedorn. “Our men’s team has been led by freshmen Ethan Montgomery and Logan Shaw. Ethan pushes everyone in practice and is excited to compete. Logan has been a great vocal leader for us. He is kind of taking that on his shoulders."

The new cross country programs will be tested right out of the gate with a tough schedule. After their opening meet at SBU, on Sept. 18 they will travel to the Southern Stampede in Joplin. The next week they will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. The following week they will compete in the Indian Hills Cross Country Invitational in Ottumwa, Iowa. The Region 16 Cross Country Championship will take place on Friday, Oct. 29 in St. Charles. The NJCAA Cross Country National Championships will take place on Saturday, Nov. 13 in Richmond, Virginia.

“Our first three meets will really open our kids’ eyes to the level of competition,” Hagedorn. “After that, we go up to Indian Hills and then we have our Region meet. I think our tough schedule will best prepare us for our Region and then the National Championships."

Both teams have some goals in mind for the upcoming season.

“We want to win our Region,” said Hagedorn. “We are going to be a little short on numbers for the women’s team but, my staff and I are already working to secure enough runners have a full team on the women’s side next year. I think realistically, for the men we would like to place in the top 10 at the national meet. It’ll be very difficult; we’re going to need to have some of our men step up and run well that day."

Coach Hagedorn sees an important key to success for the programs this season.
“We need to make sure we can get through the proper progression of training without any injury setbacks,” said Hagedorn. “If someone gets hurt and must sit out a couple weeks, it’s really going to set us back. We don’t have extra people that we can put in.”
Coach Hagedorn is excited to get the season underway.

“Our kids and Assistant Coach (Matt) Clark have worked very hard,” said Hagedorn. I think they are going to reap the rewards of that. I’ve been very pleased with how the kids have conducted themselves. We are constantly talking about creating a great culture here and we will let the performances and results happen where they may.”

--David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics