Roberts leads men’s cross country as captain

Evan Sale, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

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Sophomore Parker Roberts is the new team captain of Berry Cross Country, and has led them in several success so far.

Cross country is a sport that practices what most other sports do as punishment. They run long distances at speeds that show stamina and strength. 

A runner who has been leading the pack this year is sophomore captain Parker Roberts. Roberts came in last year as a freshman and had a standout season, placing second in the Sewanee Mountain Invitational as well as placing third in a variety of different races with many runners. Due to the dual-degree engineering program that he is a part of, this is Robert’s next-to-last year on the team. Because of this, Roberts said he is ready to make the most of it.

“This summer I was preparing for the upcoming season,” Roberts said. “I was running about 80 miles a week, just getting my mind and body in tune for the season.”

This year, the men’s cross-country team has brought in four freshmen that Roberts is taking under his wing. 

“I’m excited for the young guys,” Roberts said. “We have a lot of talent on the team, and this year everyone is contending and competing for every race.”

While Roberts is focused on the team’s success, he also has his eyes on the prize himself. He explained that his goal for this season is to be the one of the top five runners in the Southern Athletic Association conference. This is no easy challenge, due to the fact there are about 125 runners competing in the conference.

“Parker has the leadership and the drive to be one of the best in the conference,” sophomore runner Cam Mallet said. “He has the speed the desire, and the drive to push himself and the team to be the best.” 

Runners on the cross country team race for personal times, but the scores are taken by teams as a whole, so runners must support one another during races. Every runner on the team participates in each race, but only the top five runners place. Berry’s team is made up of 14 runners, all of whom have standout races, even though some are more consistent than others. Every runner is training to compete at conference.

“Our coach reminded us about how conference was coming up, and he said it was anyone’s race, even though there are the favorites we can surprise some people this year,” Roberts said. 

With the leadership qualities of Roberts and the other upperclassmen, and with the skill of the younger runners, the men’s cross country team are hoping to be a threat in the SAA. The Vikings have a high-stakes meet on Oct. 14 for the Berry Invitational and are preparing for the SAA Championship on October 28. 

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