The MSOE women's cross country team is looking forward to the 2018 season with an experienced group returning, led by one of the fastest runners in program history.
As head coach Allie Nicosia begins her first cross country season leading the Raiders, she will benefit from a small but experienced roster. Headlining the group is senior Patty Bray, while juniors Morgan Balog and Grace Kusik have also flashed potential in the past.
Bray closed out the 2017 season with the fastest 6000m time for a Raider since at least 2006. She crossed the line at the NCAA Regional Championships in 23:16 to top the previous best time by eight seasons. She put up a pair of top-10 finishes last season and should be able to cement her place near the top of the league this season.
Balog posted some of the top times on the team as a freshman and made a jump of 11 places at the league championships last season. Kusik was also off to a strong start in her career, running on the periphery of all-conference as a rookie in 2015. She did not compete last season but is back in the fold and will benefit the team with her experience.
Sophomores Lexi Maruga and Jenny Leonard flashed plenty of potential as freshmen last season. They emerged as consistent scorers for the Raiders in 2017 and will look to take a step forward as sophomores. Junior Nancy Leon rounds out the returners for the squad. She has been hampered a bit by injuries over her first two seasons. She was able to run in three late-season races last season and will look to build on that momentum as she starts her junior campaign.
In addition to the experienced returners, MSOE will also benefit from the new triathlon program getting off the ground this fall. That brings nine more runners into the fold for training purposes and adding depth as the season progresses. The triathlon team will not populate the lineup on race day but can expand the roster as necessary.