Legendary Head Coach of the Cumberland Dukes Cross Country team, Dave Sheridan, expressed his excitement over the weekend after another solid performance from the men's and women's teams at the Lancaster Bible College (LBC) Charger Invitational in Lancaster, PA. "What encourages me the most is that I know our runners can do much better," Sheridan said. "They have done very well up to this point, but I can see it. I see it in them that they can improve upon this great start." Along with longtime assistant coach, Courtney West, Dukes Men's and Women's Cross Country look to be on an upward swing in 2018.
Shyann Phelps has led the way on the women's side with impressive finishes and equally impressive times. The freshman from Bridgeton, NJ, placed third at the season-opening Dukes Invitational with a time of 23:55:49, a stong finish considering the extremely wet conditions brought on by a consistent downpour of rain for much of the meet. She would follow that up with another top performance at the LBC Charger Invitational with a time of 28:17, which placed her 9th in the field out of 125 participants. Nayeli Garcia (28th place - 31:16) and Leslie Huerta (36th - 32:14) also submitted solid times, reinforcing Coach Sheridan's excitement.
On the men's side, Eric Vanaman and Oleh Chernenko have turned in strong performances early this season. Vanaman placed 21st in the Dukes Invitational with a time of 20:42:54 and then finished 46th at the LBC Charger Invitational with a time of 33:41. After battling a health issue that held him out of the Dukes Invitational, Oleh Chernenko turned in an impressive time of 35:07, considering this would be his first race of the season. That time would place him 64 out a field of 167 runners.
As this group of runners continue to improve, look for Coach Sheridan's crew to establish themselves as a strong contender later in the season.