The Mercer Women’s Cross Country team is looking to improve on their 2012 record this fall and head coach Erin Cahill-Wetzel is hopeful that the Lady Vikings will do so.
The team finished in 2nd place at last year’s Region 19 tournament and Cahill-Wetzel is anticipating a jump in 2013. “My expectations are for a better, stronger team than we have ever had,” the 4th year coach told the VOICE, “I think this is the best shape that all the runners have been in heading into preseason.”
The season is now underway. The Lady Vikings finished 3rd out of nine teams at the Delaware Valley College (DVC) Invitational held on Saturday August 31st.
Four of the teams runners from last year have re-joined this years squad. Diana Taveras, who is one of the runners in her second season with the team, finished 7th overall at the DVC Invitational. Her freshmen teammates Cai-Cai Hahn, finished 20th, and Hixlayne Cuetia-Rodriguez finished 24th.
Cahill-Wetzel stated that Taveras, Hahn, and Cuetia-Rodriguez are three of the teams top five runners. The other two rounding out the top five are freshman Lindsey Vasquez, and Karizma Brown who was a part of last years team.
Taveras, a Hightstown High product, finished 8th in the region in 2012. That was good enough to earn her First-Team All-Region honors.
The Lady Vikings were not as impressive in their second meet at the Highlander Invitational at Core Creek in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. The team finished 7th overall with top 40 finishes from Cuetia-Rodriguez and Hahn.
Other runners on the coach’s watch list include returning runners Kira Constantino, also from Hightstown, and Melissa Clair from North Burlington, as well as freshmen Jerlin Fernandez and Rebeckah Sanchez, both from Nottingham High.
Cahill-Wetzel has high hopes for this team in the fourth year since the program was brought back to Mercer County Community College.