The 2003 season for both the men and women’s cross country teams will be a year for improving to the next level. Both teams have added talented freshmen to join a solid group of returning players. With this combination, Union has raised expectations for each team.
Union’s men are beginning their third season. Like the women, the men’s program has also experience success with two runner-up finishes in the conference. However, Union hopes to improve on those successes by closing the gap between themselves and the top team in the league, Berry College. Juniors Chris Winter and Cameron Groll are the two veterans on the Union team. Winter is a two-time TranSouth All-Conference runner while Groll earned the honor as a freshman. The two will help lead three young runners in hopes of chasing down the conference championship. Sophomore Chris Arnold and freshmen Josh Shrewsberry and Clint Channell are talented enough to help Union reach their lofty goals.
Head Coach Gary Johnson states, "We may not overtake the champs, but we certainly do not want the championship to be a foregone conclusion like it has been in years past. Our teams are determined to make a team outwork us if they are going to beat us." Michelle Hardee, a former NAIA National Qualifier for Union, will be returning as graduate assistant coach. Hardee served as graduate assistant in 2002 and handled most of the weekly preparation and practice while Coach Johnson spent time working on his Doctorate Degree. Now that he has finished, Johnson and Hardee look to team up to field a Union team that is well prepared to challenge for a conference championship.