Quakers ready for cross country season

Veterans, newcomers to lead WC

July 25, 2011

Pat Carroll and the Quakers will look to run with the pack in 2011.

Pat Carroll and the Quakers will look to run with the pack in 2011.

Wilmington College comes into the 2011 men’s cross country season looking to climb the standings in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Gone via graduation is Cody Pontius, but the Quakers will return a battle-test contingent of runners.

“Cody was a big loss, but I think we have a group that will be able to help fill that void and hopefully take us to the next level,” Wilmington head coach Ron Combs said.

Senior Pat Carroll will show the way for the Quakers. Carroll ran to All-OAC honors in 2010.

“Pat has been a really, really strong leader. He had a breakout track season and ran some great times in the 5K and the longer distances in track. He really sets the tone for our team, not only by example, but he’s a guy that’s not afraid to speak his piece to the younger guys on the team. I’m really excited about what he brings to the table,” Combs said.

Combs is banking that a year’s experience will raise the level for sophomores Brad Kline and Alek Erwin.

“Brad finished strong last season and had a really good track season,” Combs said. “Alek is going to be key for us. I think he’s better prepared for this cross country season than he was last year. He’s been putting in the work this summer, and that could make a big difference for him and our team.”

New faces and legs are also expected to make big contributions. At the top of that list is transfer sophomore Myles Corcoran and freshman Rob King.

“Myles was a stellar runner for Clinton-Massie, All-Ohio in cross country. He’s going to come in and contend for our No. 1 spot — he’s that good,” Combs said. “Rob was the 2010 SCOL champion and a state qualifier. He also is going to step in and make an immediate contribution.”

Hitting stride at the right time will be key to the Quakers’ success at the OAC Championship, a meet that will headlined by the pursuit of defending champion Ohio Northern.

“Ohio Northern is solid. Heidelberg also returns a lot from a really good team. If we put the work in this summer that we need to and come out this fall and run the way we are capable of, we can be a top 3 or 4 team. We were seventh last year, but I think we can move up quite a bit,” Combs said.