RALEIGH, NC – Friday, Sept. 8 marks the first day that the Shaw University men's and women's cross country programs will begin their 2017 season as the Lady Bears and Bears will make their season debut at the Virginia State University (VSU) Opener in Petersburg, Va.
The women's 5k race will begin at 4 p.m., followed by the men's 8k race at 4:30 p.m.
A year ago SU men's team finished fifth overall at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference Championships. The Bears were led by Mauricio Gonzalez (Leon, Mexico) and DayQuan Chapman (Winterville, NC). Shaw has only one runner that team of 2016, sophomore Isaiah Gaddy (Norwalk, CT). Head men's and women's cross country coach, Nadia Alexander-Pompey added five newcomers this season, including talented freshman Mike Lagat (Eldoret, Kenya).
In 2016, Briona May (Hampton, VA) led the efforts for the Lady Bears cross country team. She placed 30th overall at the CIAA Championships as Shaw concluded their season ninth overall. The Lady Bears return four runners from last year's squad and welcome four, including two that competed on the Lady Bears outdoor track and field squad in 2016.
Shaw has never qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team on either the men's or women's side but individually, the Bears has not had anyone participate in the championship since Maurice Styles, Jr. but coach Alexander-Pompey is looking to change that this season.
Shaw will compete in the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, N.C. on Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the WakeMed Soccer Park.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw cross country and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.