Cross Country: Tribe ready for regionals

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November 14, 2008

12:31 AM

The College of William and Mary men and women are not new to success.

During a recent office relocation within William and Mary Hall, men’s Head Coach Alex Gibby, recently got rid of boxes of trophies his teams have won over his eight year tenure.

“I’m not much of a trophy guy,” Gibby said.

Whether he and women’s Head Coach Kathy Newberry like it or not, more hardware could come their way Saturday at the Southeast Region Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C.

TRIBE WOMEN

Though it may seem that the home team this weekend — no. 30 Wake Forest University Demon Deacons — would be favored because they are the only ranked team from the Southeast Region, the region is full of strong programs, including the CAA champions of the College.

The Tribe’s nucleus of juniors — Emily Anderson, Meghan Burns and Kelsey Byrne — leads the team on the course. Its combination of senior leadership and underclassmen talent helps too.

Despite its no. 8 ranking in the Southeast Region, there is no reason to count out the College.

“We always look towards peaking right around the regional meet,” Newberry said.

The Tribe’s success depends on its ability and its opponents’s ability to deal with the relatively flat course in front of them. Without any major geographical landmarks to use to adjust running strategy, the teams will have to focus on making good decisions and piecing together a strong race all the way through.

TRIBE MEN

While the women’s field may be wide open, the men’s is dominated by a two-horse race.

“[The University of Virginia] and we are very similar teams,” Gibby said.

Sitting at no. 13 in the country and no. 1 in the Southeast Region, U.Va. will be the interesting team to watch as they compete with against the Tribe.

It will be the first regional meet as head coach for Jason Vigilante, who led his team to an ACC championship two weekends ago.

While they may have more experienced runners including sixth-year senior Ryan Foster and junior Ryan Collins, the Tribe has stayed remarkably healthy and has had young talent step up to help fill holes throughout the season.

The return of junior Ben Massam, who has recovered from flu-like symptoms, will challenge for the Tribe’s top finishing spot.

“It’s good to have Ben back,” Gibby said. “We are remarkably healthy mentally and physically.”

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