The Citadel Cross Country 2010 Season Review
Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel Cross Country team entered the 2010 season with optimism yet uncertainty as the men's squad looked for a new leader after the loss of three-time most valuable runner Brendan Kight to graduation. The Bulldog women's team entered the season still in the rebuilding process, etching two freshmen into the lineup hoping to make an immediate impact.
From the beginning, sophomore Kyle Keene ran as the men's leader as he guided the Bulldogs in each race during the season. Keene was the lone men's runner to capture a top five finish, but was closely followed by John Gatewood, Wells Johnson and Austin Waldrop in the race for the top runner for The Citadel. Freshman Danielle McKee made an immediate impact as she too guided the women's team all season and also garnered a Southern Conference Championship honor. In her final campaign as a Cadet cross country runner, Suzanne Gay also left an impression as she captured a top five finish during the season.
Although The Citadel was unable to reach their goals, there was significant improvement, while several set new personal best times.
The Citadel Opens Season at Winthrop/Asics Invitational
The Citadel opened the 2010 season at the Winthrop/Asics Cross County Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 18. In their season premiere, the men's squad finished the race in seventh place, while the women came in ninth. Keene guided the men's squad with a 19th place finish after posting a time of 26:10.63. For the women, McKee was the first Cadet finisher as she completed the race in 43rd place with a time of 19:59.22.
While running in the Invitational, the Bulldogs were also competing in the South Carolina Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships. The men posted a fourth place finish and the women earned a sixth place mark.
Bulldogs Maintain Success at 30th Annual Will Wilson Citadel Invitational
For the 30th year, The Citadel hosted the Will Wilson Citadel Invitational held at James Island County Park on Saturday, Sept. 25. The men's team clocked their third consecutive third place finish again with 57 points, while for the second straight year the women finished in fourth place, depleting their 190 points from last year to 91 points this season.
Five Cadets finished among the top-20 in the men's 8k race. Keene led the quintet after posting a fourth place finish with a time of 26:49. Junior Wells Johnson rounded out the top 10 runners in 10th place, while Austin Waldrop finished in 11th place, John Gatewood in 16th and Atom Young in 18th place to round out the Bulldogs in the top 20.
Once again McKee led the women's team as she completed the 5,000 meter course with a top-10 finish in eighth place with a time of 19:43. Senior captain Suzanne Gay finished among the top 15 coming in 15th place.
Cadets Travel to Great American Cross Country Festival
The Citadel traveled to Cary, N.C. on Friday, Oct. 1 for the Great American Cross Country Festival. For the third consecutive race both Keene and McKee led the men's and women's squads to a fourth and fifth place finish, respectively. Keene earned a top-15 finish as he concluded the race in 13th place. Gatewood and Waldrop also posted top-20 finishes coming in 16th and 17th places, respectively. For the women, McKee came in 16th place.
Bulldogs Close Regular Season Competition at Royal Cross Country Challenge
The Bulldogs wrapped up regular season competition at the Royal Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, N.C., hosted by Queens University. The women's squad, guided by McKee, competed in the 5k Navy race and ended the event in third place out of 13 teams. With her best finish of the season, McKee came in first place after posting a time 19:00. Gay also registered a top-five finish in fifth place with a time of 20:01, while freshman Christina Shonbeck earned a top-15 spot in 14th place. Out of 23 teams, the men's squad finished in 14th place, led by Keene who finished in 53rd place.
McKee Earns All-Freshman Honors at SoCon Championship
The Citadel ended the 2010 season at the Southern Conference Cross Country Championships hosted by SoCon foe Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., on Saturday Oct. 30. McKee capped her collegiate debut season with a selection to the women's All-Freshman squad as the Bulldog women's team finished in 11th place. The men finished 10th overall.
McKee, who ran a time of 19:09, came in 30th place and finished fifth among 27 freshmen women competing in the race. The top seven freshmen runners were selected to the All-Freshman team. Keene led the men's team with a time of 26:49 for a 49th place finish.
For more information on Bulldog cross Country, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.