SEASON PREVIEW: Men's Cross Country returns key pieces for upcoming year

SEASON PREVIEW: Men's Cross Country returns key pieces for upcoming year

(Ann Arbor, MI) - The Concordia Cardinals Men's Cross Country team opens up their 2022 season on September 2 as they will travel to the Mike Baumer Cross Country Classic at Wright State in Fairborn, OH


Head Coach Dominic Santina opens up his first season as the head coach of Concordia's men's and women's programs and had this to say about the upcoming season. 


"I am excited to see what our Men's program can do this fall. We have a couple of key pieces returning in Luke Bentz, Theodore Eising, and Avery Sanchez, that I think will all take a big step forward. We added Adam Fisch this spring who I think is going to fit very well into our top five runners. Then we have Noah Finley who is a sophomore this year and has had some injury problems in the past, but I think we might have them figured out and I think we could see some improvement out of him as well. We also added Jared Stiver and Justin Shumpert. They are a couple of guys that we are slowly working into things but I think they definitely help play a role in our team."


Concordia Personal


The Cardinals return 5 runners who competed last fall, anchored by sophomore Luke Bentz, who ran all 6 meets CUAA competed in last season and had a team best 17:40.4 5k race time. Lone senior Avery Sanchez brings the experience of 12 career meets and the second best 5k PR time on the team from last season (19.23.6) to a young Cardinals squad. Juniors Noah Starkey and Theodore Eising look to build on promising seasons last year where each runner saw an improvement in their 8k times. Sophomore Noah Finley adds depth and experience to Concordia after running in all six meets last season. 


The Concordia Men's Cross Country team also introduces three new faces to the mix. Freshmen Justin Shumpert and Adam Fisch look to continue building on the impressive Concordia Cross Country freshmen campaigns that came before them, while transfer Jared Stiver aims to help the Cardinal program as well.


2022 Fall Schedule


CUAA kicks off the season this Friday at the Mike Baumer XC Classic, then follows it with a September 17th trip to Grand Rapids to compete in the GRCC Raider Invitational. They complete the month competing at the Lansing Cross Country Invitational on September 30th, before hosting the Cardinal Invitational on October 14th in the penultimate meet of the regular season. The Cardinals wrap up the season with the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge hosted by Aquinas on October 22nd, before competing in the WHAC Championships at Ottawa Park Golf Course in Toledo, Ohio on November 5th. The NCCAA and NAIA Cross Country Championships are slated for November 11th and 19th, respectively.