The 2011/ 2012 Missouri Valley cross country team started its season in a new direction. With a new coaching addition, Jessica Buchanan becomes the new assistant cross country and track coach, joining the effort of head coach John Pickens.
Jessica graduated from Missouri Valley in 2008. She holds school records in track and field.
Along with the new coach, there are new freshmen and new transfers. The women’s cross country team has three new freshmen: Sarah Niemeier from Loehne, Germany; Mandisa Sobers from Arlington, Texas; and Stormy Morrison from Marshall. New to the men’s team are Ryan Martin and Kyland Sims, transfers to MVC, and freshmen Joshua Felz, Nick Jenkins, William Lee, Austin Pinkston and Damon Williams.
For the new year of cross country, Sarah Niemeier said that she and her teammates will grow and do better at each meet. Asking a few of the returning runners about this year’s newcomers, Alex Avilez said the new guys seem more dedicated and willing to work.
“A lot of the returners worked hard this past summer so I’m excited to see how they do in the upcoming races,” said Chase Burgess, adding, “I really enjoy all the transfers and freshman that we have this year and I’m thankful for all the returning runners this year.”
Amanda Buhr had a little bit of advice for the freshmen: Don’t get to overwhelmed your first year. Avilez said, “As for advice to freshman all I can say is that this is very different from high school. Yes, the cross country races are longer, but it is in the classes you take here at Moval that will test you more. Take those classes seriously and you can avoid a lot of heartache in the future.”
The team is expecting good results this year.