By Ray Hamill — A gradual change in culture appears to paying dividends for the College of the Redwoods cross country teams.
Head coach Reed Elmore and his runners, along with the track and field team he also coaches, are holding each other more accountable this year, and a fresh crop of new faces appear determined to establish a new culture within the program.
“We’ve really changed a lot of things, and we’ve brought some new people in, and it’s really working,” Elmore said. “We want to make it about hard work.”
H-DNL track standouts Grant Van Emmerick out of Ferndale and Owen Lien of McKinleyville have each played a big part in changing the culture, bringing a new, more professional attitude to the program.
Likewise with some of the new faces on the cross country team, where numbers are also up, with 11 men and seven women this fall.
And Elmore expects them to be immediately competitive.
“It’s a different feel this year,” the long-time head coach said. “The men’s team has a decent shot at winning conference.”
This past weekend, the Corsairs traveled to the Chabot Invite and came away with some impressive showings against some tough competition.
In the men’s race, Kaleb Traficante paced the team with an 11th place finish in a time of 22 minutes 24 seconds.
Teammates Mathew Guerrero and Josh Hunt were next best at 28th and 29th, respectively.
For the women, Haley Hopkins led the Corsairs in 16th, followed by teammate Abby Gulley in 30th.