Gannon Men’s and Women’s Cross Country prepare for spring season


The women’s cross country team has 14 members on the D2 ADA academic awards list. A total of 219 Gannon students were honored on the list for academic and athletic achievements.

Ioannis Giannikakis

This year both the men’s and women’s crosscountry teams at Gannon University will be having an unusual season as they are expected to compete during the spring semester instead of the usual fall semester. 

A few months back the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) announced that all fall sports schedules would be postponed to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

This has not stopped the men’s crosscountry team from looking to improve. 

The Knights are coming off a very strong year as they were led by two national qualifiers, Joseph Westrick and returning senior Ryan Garich. It was the first time the men’s team had two national qualifiers in the same season.  

The Knights finished eighth at the Atlantic Regional, matching the programs highest finish. They will continue to practice and work as hard as they possibly can until it is their time to start competing and prove that they can have an even better season than the last.  

As for the Gannon women’s team, the Knights are coming off an extraordinary season as they matched their best team finish in their program’s history last year, placing 11th at the PSAC championship meet. The team was led by returning senior Sarah Fiorello, as she earned all-conference and all-region honors. 

The Knights are fortunate enough to be practicing three times a week and having their normal team workouts as well. It is not as much practicing as they’d like to be doing, compared to their usual, everyday practices during this time of year.  

This women’s team has very high hopes and expectations for this upcoming season, according to Cameron Perry, a returning senior.  

“I believe the team will be prepared to race this fall being highly successful at the competitive level,“ Perry said. 

“Although our training has changed in comparison to the normal fall, those changes were made to better prepare us for the switch of seasons. Our team will be ready to tackle the season in the spring. Our team has a lot of potential for success in the spring semester and I see us achieving our goals as we continue to put the best effort in at practices. 

Perry said that she has seen all her teammates working so hard and notices their improvements. She’s excited to see what the season has in store for the team.  

“I just hope to have the opportunity to race in the spring to see my team’s success,” she said. “There’s so many girls who have been working hard and have improved so much through the summer and recent team practices. I am most excited to see their hard work pay off in the spring.” 

Both the men’s and women’s teams will continue to be patient and give it their all at each practice to have the season they are all expecting. 

Both teams also experienced success in the classroom last year, as they finished with top four team GPAs in all of Division II last season. Both teams earned U.S. Track & Field and CrossCountry Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) AllAcademic team honors for the 16th consecutive season. 

The schedule for the 2021 spring season has not been announced by the PSAC yet, but conference athletic directors are expected to meet Wednesday to discuss the topic, conference Commissioner Steve Murray said. 



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