BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University men's cross country team and Coordinator of Cross Country and Track and Field and Head Cross Country Coach Joe Eby will look to race its way to the top of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 2018.
Eby, who is in his fourth season as head coach, returns eight letterwinners and one All-OAC performer from last year's team that finished fifth at the 2017 OAC Championships and 13th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships.
"Our men have a great opportunity to take a step forward and become a contender at the conference level and move up some sports at the regional level," Eby said. "This will be exciting to see them grow as we go through the year."
The duo of sophomore All-OAC performer Josh Hickmott (Clay, N.Y./Liverpool) and junior Academic All-OAC selection Isaac Wilson (Tylersburg, Pa./North Clarion) will look to lead the Yellow Jacket men this fall. Hickmott had a strong finish to his freshman campaign, earning his second-team All-OAC honor by placing 15th at the OAC Championships. Meanwhile, Wilson's sophomore season saw him win the individual title at the Shenandoah (Va.) Hornet Harrier Meet to go along with his All-Ohio finish at the 2017 All-Ohio Division III Championships.
Following closely behind Hickmott and Wilson will be sophomore Jose Reynoso (Painesville/Harvey) and junior Nick Irwin (Westlake) while seniors Spencer Mahon (North Royalton) and Academic All-OAC selection Phil Spronz (Strongsville) will look to make a lasting impression with career-best times in their final season. Sophomore Ben Szymanski (Lake View, N.Y./Hamburg Frontier) also joins the squad this year.
With one year of experience already under their belts, sophomores Andrew Krupp (Ottawa Hills), Larry Salerno (Mentor), Spencer Roberts (West Seneca, N.Y./West) and Daniel Heard (Shaker Heights) will continue to make strides and improve on their top times from their first collegiate season.
Seven freshmen in Jeremy Coad (Dublin/Jerome), Joe Juda (Strongsville), John Komaromy-Hiller (Edgewood, Ky./Villa Madonna Academy), Nate Matthews (Marietta), David Prather (Hardin, Mont.), Zach Riggins (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) and Cameron Wydra (Canton/GlenOak) join the team this fall and will look to post competitive times on the course.
The Yellow Jackets open the 2018 season on Friday, Aug. 31, when they travel to Wooster to compete in the annual College of Wooster Invitational at the L.C. Boles Memorial Golf Course. The University of Akron will host the All-Ohio Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, while the University of Mount Union hosts the OAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27.