The Maroon

Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

The+cross+country+team+does+ab+exercises+after+a+run+in+Audubon+Park+in+late+August.+The+team+finished+the+season+with+new+records+and+few+injuries.+Photo+credit%3A+Colleen+Dulle
The cross country team does ab exercises after a run in Audubon Park in late August. The team finished the season with new records and few injuries. Photo credit: Colleen Dulle

The cross country team does ab exercises after a run in Audubon Park in late August. The team finished the season with new records and few injuries. Photo credit: Colleen Dulle

The cross country team does ab exercises after a run in Audubon Park in late August. The team finished the season with new records and few injuries. Photo credit: Colleen Dulle

John Casey

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Loyola’s cross country team saw momentous success this past season with the arrival of a new head coach, who has already made an enormous impact on the program.

Several athletes posted personal records this season, and the team found its first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national qualifier since 2006 in sophomore Anthony Rizzi.

The team’s sudden improvement can be largely attributed to the new hire at the head coaching position: Coach Nick Dodson. Dodson has had an extensive career in collegiate athletics as a player, coach and director, serving most recently with Southern States Athletic Conference rival Brewton-Parker College as the director of track and field and cross country.

Dodson has changed many aspects of the team at Loyola since his arrival. He has intensified training and increased team morale. As a result, the team has seen continuous improvement and the number of injuries this season is remarkably fewer than last.

Hernan Espinal, international business sophomore, is a member of the team who believes Dodson was a perfect selection to lead the program.

“Just seeing how [Dodson] turned around the team culture this semester gives me a lot of hope for the future of this program,” Espinal said.

He hails Dodson for his success in motivating the team, saying Dodson truly motivates his athletes to love what they do and consistently reminds them that they will be great. He backs up this motivation through their training.

Dodson points to the team’s performance at the 11th annual Jacksonville State University Foothills Invitational as a clear example of how far his team has come.

“It’s a testament to the training and the things we’ve done throughout the year,” Dodson said.

Loyola saw runners set seven lifetime personal records and nine season personal records at the meet.

On the women’s team, Dodson praised freshman Tristin Sanders, who he says is a remarkably determined and hard working athlete.

“She shows up on the big stage,” Dodson said. “Had she not been sick during conference, I believe she would’ve made the NAIA all-freshman team.”

In regards to the men’s team, Dodson spoke highly of Anthony Rizzi. Rizzi is the first member of the Loyola cross country program to qualify for the NAIA National Championship since 2006. Rizzi finished 280th out of 332 runners in the championship, four minutes behind the first place finisher.

“He [Rizzi] shows up at game time and sets the standard,” Dodson said.

Overall, not only is Dodson happy with this past season’s performance, but he is hopeful for the future. In addition to his current squad, Dodson believes his incoming 2017 class is filled to the brim with prospective talent and is excited to have them at the collegiate level.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Friendship between two Loyola runners goes beyond the race-trail

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Coach Bryant sprints to new position

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Loyola cross-country take both individual win’s at Major Blazer Invitational

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Loyola place three top-10 runners at Allstate Sugar Bowl Festival

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Wolf Pack place three runners top 10 in first cross country meet

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Kevin Licht is ready for a new journey at the helm of Loyola’s Track teams

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Two freshmen are tearing up the trail

  • Basketball

    Sports briefs 11/10

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Newly rebuilt Wolf Pack heads to cross country championships

  • Cross country team looks back on this season’s success

    Cross Country

    Cross country runners see times improve at LSU meet

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Cross country team looks back on this season’s success