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Cross country teams strive for MAC title

Freshman Mikhayla Sabo and Junior Achol Odlla racing in the Shannon Henretty Invitational. (Photo by Sabina Moran)
Freshman Mikhayla Sabo and Junior Achol Odlla racing in the Shannon Henretty Invitational. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

Both Stevenson University men’s and women’s cross country teams are preparing to earn a Middle Atlantic Conference title for 2018-2019 season.

After a successful year in 2017, both teams are ready to work hard to earn the best results possible with new and experienced student-athletes.


Freshman Mikhayla Sabo and junior Achol Odolla race in the Shannon Henretty Invitational on the Greenspring campus. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

Entering his fifth year as head coach, and recently announced as the new head coach for men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, David Berdan leads the teams in the MAC. He explained that both men’s and women’s teams are excited for the Middle Atlantic Conference championships, as Stevenson will host the event at the Greenspring campus on October 27. Berdan added that the women’s team will be participating in the Disney Cross Country Classic on Oct. 6.

Although the team grew slightly with a small recruiting class of only two female first-year runners, Berdan is excited for what the future holds. He also speaks highly of freshman Mikhayla Sabo.

“Mikhayla Sabo is by far our best freshman on the women’s team. She has been our top runner at all our meets this year. I am expecting big things from her as this is her first year ever running cross country,” he said. The freshman class may not be large but has had a huge impact on the program so far,” said Berdan.

The teams are practicing and training daily this season. Berdan said, “The runners have a desire to reach their goals by believing in what the program is doing and holding each other accountable.” Berdan added he did not believe they are doing a lot different from other teams, but the runners are a great group of women who have bought into the program and are always looking for continuous improvement.


Senior Langston Gash competes during the Shannon Henretty Invitational on Sept. 8. (Photo by Sabina Moran)

Behind the stellar performances of senior Langston Gash, the men’s cross country team has set their sights on the Middle Atlantic Conference championship, hoping to end their season in first place in the MAC, having placed  second to Messiah College in 2017.

Thus far, Gash opened the season by taking first place overall in the Mustang Stampede, held on the Greenspring campus, with a personal-best 4k time of 12:37.97. The Mustangs had five runners place in the top six, winning the meet. Gash was subsequently named the MAC cross country Player of the Week for Sept. 3. The next day he was named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Male Athlete of the Week.

Others seniors include Anthony Mercoli, Sam Mercoli, Jackson Morrow, and Brett Olin.

The Mustangs hosted the Shannon Henretty Invitational on Sept. 8, coming in second place overall behind Johns Hopkins University, with Gash finishing first with an 8k time of 26:21.38. He was again named the MAC Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 10.

Along with Gash, junior Patrick Watson finished in the top 10 with a 27:02.17 time. Morrow finished with a 27:49.27 time. Olin trailed behind Morrow with a 28:18.85 time.

The team will travel to Goucher College for the Goucher Cross Country Classic on Oct. 6.

The Mustangs’ last home meet will be on Oct. 27, hosting the Middle Atlantic Conference championships.

Both teams will be preparing for their next meet at the Don Cathcart Invitational at Winterplace Park in Salisbury, Maryland, on Sept. 29.

Staff editor Wornden Ly contributed to this article. 

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Cross country teams strive for MAC title