UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The University of Richmond cross country and track & field teams will welcome a decorated class of 17 student-athletes to campus this fall to continue their academic and athletic careers. The Spiders' incoming class will allow the programs to continue their standard of excellence at both the conference and national levels.
COACH LORI TAYLOR ON INCOMING CLASS: "Once again, we are pleased to welcome a talented group of athletes to our program. These student-athletes cover most of the event areas within our track & field teams and also include several cross country athletes who could impact our team immediately. As we all know, talent is one of the key factors in success at the NCAA level, but it will also require hard work and dedication on the part of these women and men in order for our teams to achieve the goals we've set. The weeks, months and years to come will determine where this class will end up and what they can accomplish. The mark they leave here at UR and beyond is yet to be determined, and our staff looks forward to guiding them as we continue to build upon the momentum our alumni have previously established."
COACH STEVE TAYLOR ON INCOMING CLASS: "Our goal is to produce a winning team each and every year. This includes track & field and cross country All-Americans in addition to achieving the ultimate success in the classroom. We excitedly look to the future as both our men's and women's track & field and cross country teams set the goal of achieving their 11th-consecutive NCAA All-Academic Team honors. Each year our teams look to the A-10 Conference Championships and NCAA Championships as their benchmark. This recruiting class includes a talented group of men and women. As a program, every year we find a remarkable group of recruits who realize all the benefits of attending the University of Richmond to further their athletic and academic careers. We are pleased and excited by the achievements of this year's incoming class and look for them to continue the advancement of our program in achieving our goals."
This past season, the Spider men's and women's cross country squads continued their long-standing tradition of academic excellence by achieving Division I All-Academic status for the 10th-consecutive year. The women's program, paced by A-10 Champion and Academic All-Conference honoree Jill Prentice, closed out the year with a fourth-place finish at the conference meet. The men took seventh at the 2011 conference championship.
The Richmond men's and women's track & field teams are also coming off a year in which they continued their previous record of success. Led by multiple gold medalist and the A-10 Championship's Most Outstanding Performer in graduated senior Nicol Traynor, the Spider women finished seventh at the conference meet. Traynor and classmate Meaghan McGovern, school-record holder in the hammer throw, would go on to compete at the NCAA East Prelims in Jacksonville, where Traynor qualified for June's NCAA Final Round in Des Moines. On the men's side, graduated senior and school-record holder Devin Cassels tallied four top-five showings in the pole vault and joined McGovern on the A-10 Academic All-Conference list. Rising sophomore Matthew Groff capped his season by qualifying for the USA Junior Outdoor Championships in the 1,500 Meters.
Stay updated on all the latest Richmond Track & Field and Cross Country news on RichmondSpiders.com and by accessing Spider Athletics' mobile apps on your Smartphone or tablet. More in-depth coverage can be found by following Head Coach Steve Taylor on Twitter and by reading his blog. The Spiders also have their own Facebook page and have launched their own YouTube Channel as well.
SPIDERS WELCOME INCOMING WOMEN:
SPIDERS WELCOME INCOMING MEN:
Robert Agaba - Kigali, Rwanda (Lycee De Kigali)-Agaba arrives at Richmond with no formal training as a runner. The untapped talent looks to ultimately return to his native Rwanda as a running coach.
Connor Dickson - Leola, Pa. (Conestoga Valley)-Dickinson comes to Richmond with a personal-best mark of 1:59.6 in the 800 Meters.