In just two years (so) Zakk Hess had already found himself running at the NCAA XC Championships this Saturday in Terre Haute, IN on the famous LaVern Gibson cross country course. A little history on Zakk, he has never run XC until he entered college, that’s right, he is only two years into his XC career and already has made a name for himself in the conference. He came to Fredonia as a middle distance runner, specifically running the mile where he was successful at the high school level competing at the NYS Track and Field Championships his senior year.
"This weekend Zakk will get the opportunity to experience something all runners want, nationals!" Coach Wilson
This experience has come with hard work, dedication and the will to take a chance. Zakk finished 12th overall this past weekend at the Atlantic Regional Championships, the highest finish for a Blue Devil in twenty years. His time of 25:51 is a personal best by nine seconds and is one minute faster than last year’s time at the same race.
"I went out hard, realized I was in the front at the mile mark but decided to push and found myself feeling pretty good". Zakk Hess
Hess, who battled some injuries last year, will be looking to take his success into the upcoming indoor track season where he will try to follow in the footsteps of five time national champion Nick Guarino and qualify for the NCAA's in the mile. "This is a huge step in Zakk's running career, what a mental booster." Coach Wilson
More information about the race can be found here:
The Blue Devils will take stride this weekend towards qualifying for the NCAA Championships. (SR) Pete Francia will look to return to the national meet after running a personal best 2011 8k time there last year. The mens team will look to finish strong and climb up the top ten ladder on Saturday. The mens race will go off at 11am and the womens race at 12noon at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, NY. (SO) Zakk Hess has been running very strong this season and will look to follow in Francia's footsteps. (SR) Jack Bennett will look to close his college cross country career on a high note. Rounding out the Blue Devils racing seven are, (FR) Collin Mulcahy, (JR) Steve Whittemore, (FR) Kyle Collins and (SR) Jake Krautwurst. "This has been a very strong season thus far for the mens team, ranking as high as 34th in the nation and 8th in the region". Coach Wilson
On the womens side, (JR) Kim Foltz has taken over as the Blue Devils front runner. She was followed closely by (SO) Amanda Cocchiara and (SR) Leslie Beaton last weekend at the SUNYAC Championships. This womens program set a early season goal and last weekend we reached it, now we need to put a new goal together for this Sat." Coach Wilson Rounding out the womens racing team is (JR) Anna Hourihan, (SR) Kateri Walsh, (JR) Alissa Conti and (JR) Becca List. "This womens racing team is very tight, we need to continue to do what we have been doing all season and we will move up the regional rankings". Coach Wilson
"Both programs are healthy, fresh and ready to race for their chance to represent Fredonia at the NCAA Championships". Coach Wilson