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Cross Country Teams Aim High 

Photo by Brandywine Athletics

By David Brown, Lion’s Eye Staff Writer, dvb5451@psu.edu  (updated by Lion’s Eye web staff)

The cross country team is breaking barriers here at Brandywine, and nothing seems to be slowing down.

Head coach Corey Smith, and former star runner at Villanova University, is almost finished his second season as head coach, and has already found success. With a championship meet coming up, Brandywine cross country has set the bar high.

Sophomore Annie Mueller, a key runner for the woman’s squad, had a lot to say about individual and team success so far this season. Mueller, a homeschooled student who only ran as a hobby, became interested in cross country during her tour here at Brandywine and has exceeded expectations ever since.

“I am really competitive, even a little too much,” Mueller said about her “Runner of the Week” award.  “I always want to finish first, no matter what and I feel like there is a friendly competition that goes on with the team as well.”

Mueller said the entire team has improved.

“The team is really strong,” Mueller said.  “We now run in pairs and groups in practice and help motivate each other. The guy’s team is really strong as well.”

And the team has become more than team to Mueller.

“The whole team has been very friendly and supportive,” Mueller said.  “An occasion I remember is, during a race we were running up a .4 mile hill, and I remember Robyn (Gannon), who is really strong on hills, motivating and pushing me through it.”

Coach Smith described his coaching experience at Brandywine.

“It’s been great,” Smith said.  “It’s my second season as head coach and I’ve been lucky enough to have great kids to coach.”

Smith has done a great job for the cross country program and every runner for the men’s and women’s teams has improved his/her times.

“I don’t think it’s me,” Smith said.  “It’s the kids, they are doing the hard work and success snowballs for them. Coach Iain and myself put together a workout program and they do it. It’s about making the kids believe in themselves and at the end of the day it’s about family.”

Smith has found successful personally and with the team.

“I just love the sport, as an athlete or a coach,” Smith said.  “Some of my best mentors were my coaches and teammates. I love sharing what I learned and passing it on to the kids.”

The cross country team has an opportunity to make history and Coach Smith has nothing but confidence in his squad as they come up into a championship meet.

 

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