The Maroon

Newly rebuilt Wolf Pack heads to cross country championships

The+Wolf+Pack+compete+at+the+LSU+Cross+Country+Festival+in+September+2017.
The Wolf Pack compete at the LSU Cross Country Festival in September 2017.

The Wolf Pack compete at the LSU Cross Country Festival in September 2017.

The Wolf Pack compete at the LSU Cross Country Festival in September 2017.

Jacob Schmitt

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Throughout this season of rebuilding for the cross country team, the Wolf Pack prepares to hit the road for the Southern States Athletics Conference Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Nov. 3. The championship meet at Choctaw Trails in Clinton, Mississippi will feature nine different universities.

Last year’s winners for both the women’s and men’s race was Bethel University, located in McKenzie, Tennessee.

Assistant coach Livia Mahaffie is looking forward to seeing how the team’s training and efforts will pay off in the Championship.

“I’m really excited. Walt [Ramsey] and Sasha [Solano-McDaniel] have a very high chance of qualifying individually. It’s going to really be the end of our top five really coming together and sticking together as a unit throughout the race which will determine where we will finish in the race,” Mahaffie said.

Freshman standout and environmental studies major Walt Ramsey felt that his freshman year on the cross country team had gone well.

“Our team is mostly freshmen so I feel like everybody has gotten better together. We’ve ran really well,” Ramsey said.

When asked about his goals and accomplishments this season, he added, “I was just looking to feel good about my freshman year and so far I’ve felt pretty solid about it.”

Ramsey’s accomplishments for the season include multiple first place finishes for the Loyola roster and a sixth place finish in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Cross Country Festival.

Sasha Solano-McDaniel, sociology freshman, also felt the season went well.

“I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress. I think this year we’ve kind of put it together. I think we’re gonna keep improving. My goal [for the season] was to break 20:00 and I made 19:54 so I’m happy with that and hoping to continue,” she said.

This is Solano-McDaniel’s first SSAC championship of her collegiate career.

When asked about potentially making a national championship, Solano-McDaniels said, “It’s definitely a viable option. It’s definitely a goal I’ve set for myself so I want to take advantage of the opportunity and go for it. During the championship, I’m looking forward to hopefully everyone [breaking their personal record] and just ending the season on a good note. If we don’t make it to nationals or we do, just keep progressing as a team.”

The team’s most recent meet was the Florida State Invitational where they finished 15th out of 16.

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Newly rebuilt Wolf Pack heads to cross country championships