VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- The Bridgewater College women's cross country team is prepared to fight for a win at the ODAC Championships on Saturday.
Bridgewater entered the 2017 season looking to exceed expectations after being picked fourth in the preaseason poll. After a solid regular season, the Eagles look to do the same during tomorrow's postseason meet.
"Both teams have a good momentum right now from a training standpoint," said Head Coach Brian Flynn, "I think we have a much better mindset going into race 24 hours before than we did at the beginning of the season."
For their first race of the 2017 season, the team hosted the third annual Eagles Cross Country Challenge and had seven runners finish in the top-10 and scored 16 points to finish first out of four teams. The squad finished third at the Don Cathcart Invitational and 10th out of 31 teams at the Gettysburg Invitational Saturday with a score of 294.
"This is a special year because we have a handful of ladies who have a good chance at going all-conference," said Flynn, "Calista Ariel has a strong chance at going first team and I think Jenna Rea and English Jackson could make second team."
Sophmore Calista Ariel has been the team's strongest runner throughout the season. Ariel posted a Top 10 clocking to pace at the Don Cathcart Invitatational and completed the 6K course in 22:28.20. She was also Bridgewater's top runner at the Gettysburg Invitational, finishing 19th with a time of 23:47.9.
Junior Jenna Rea has also had a successful regular season. She crossed the line 33rd with a time of 24:18.6 at the Gettysburg Invite and 23rd at the Don Cathcart Invite with a time of 23:41.67.
"Our workouts have progressed throughout the season," Flynn said, "Before we were fit, but not race ready but now I think we are race ready and fit for this course and its conditions."
The course will be laid out on the grounds of VWU's campus with runners competing on a two-kilometer loop. The women's race will open with a six-kilometer competition at 11:00 a.m. The men's event will follow at noon and cover eight-kilometers.