Emory & Henry traveled, much like the devil, down to Georgia this past weekend. Unlike the devil, the Wasps were there to compete in the South/Southeast Region championship at the Clara Bowl Course. It was a dusty and difficult evening for the women’s cross country team. The course, which had not seen rain for a couple of days, was dusty and made it difficult for any of E&H’s runners who took the course to compete to their fullest ability. Erica Grupp finished an outstanding first-year season at the front for the Wasps, finishing 80th overall in the region with a time of 25:01. First-year Maddie Copenhaver and sophomore McKenna Tankersley were neck and neck the entire race finishing at 29:02 and 29:04 respectfully. Sophomore Taylor Henderson rounded out the top five with a time of 30:09.
Not to be forgotten is senior Elizabeth’s contribution to the team on the day and her career. She finished with a time of 26:15 this past weekend, but she has left an even more profound impact on the program. She is one of the rare four year runners to come out of E&H since Olivia Bailey. The leadership that she has brought for the Wasps will be sorely missed as the program moves forward into the future.
The Wasps finished 25th out of 29th in the region. Coach Ian Layne has been recruiting heavily all over the country to try to build the program. The Wasp’s main goal next year will try to remain healthy and build behind Grupp up front. The team was bit by the injury bug this past year. Coach Layne’s goal is to bring in five to seven new runners into the fold next year to try to continue to build on this year’s campaign.