By Levi Nord
After finishing 18th in the nation last year, Jim Helmer, head cross country coach, is looking forward to this season. With all but one of last year’s runners returning, “This could be one of the best teams we’ve had in a long time,” said Helmer.
Women’s cross country is also looking forward to a promising season with a young team. “The women took second in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, but we had several seniors, which has changed our outlook a bit,” said Helmer.
Sydnee Nelson, biochemistry senior, is also looking forward to this season, which will be her tenth year of competitive running.
Nelson’s big goal for the year is “Personally, to make it to nationals, and as a team to make it to nationals, which will mean winning the KCAC.” That is something the team hasn’t done since the year before her freshmen year.
“My greatest personal achievement has been getting All-American at last year’s national cross country meet,” said Frank Adelman, biology senior.
Adelman said his goal is, “To win most of the regular season meets and finish in the top 10 in the nation individually.”
According to Coach Helmer, the big goal is to, “Always to put ourselves in a position to finish in the top ten at nationals.”
Helmer’s coaching philosophy is to provide opportunities to learn, grow, and ultimately use whatever they learn from cross country in their lives.
“We focus a lot on loyalty, integrity and commitment, as well as their role in the community. Pretty much everything I do is built around that, to help them get prepared for bigger and more important things in life,” said Helmer.
As for the seniors, this season promises to be bittersweet. “It’s a bit surreal, time has flown by here at Southwestern and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last three years,” said Adelman.
Both Adelman and Nelson shared similar sentiments on their time with the SC cross country team, and how their participation had helped prepare them for life.
Cross country opens their season Sept. 1 at the Wichita State University Gold Classic.
Levi Nord is a freshman majoring in theatre. You may email him at email@example.com.