O’Hora excited for 2008

By Erin Nollen
September 11, 2008

Shannon Keough

The men’s and women’s 2008 cross country season has officially started. Cabrini College has always run a successful cross country team and hopes its success will continue this year. “If you’re looking at a mountain we’re at the bottom working towards the peak,” Thomas O’Hora, cross country coach, said.

O’Hora seemed apprehensive but positive at the same time about the men’s team. “We lost two really good runners from last year and every successful cross country team has seven really good runners. You really can’t have a weak link,” O’Hora said. This year he is hoping freshmen Ed McQuade and Dan Regan can fill the shoes of the runners the squad lost.

Top-runner Edward Penetar, sophomore psychology major, is returning after placing fourth in regionals and attending nationals last year.

Other runners to watch are returning sophomores John Solewin, Kevin Wellman and a transfer student from Penn State University Justin Walsh.

“It’s going to be a tougher league this year,” O’Hora said. Gwynedd-Mercy has its whole team returning and Keystone College is now a member of the league and also has its whole team returning. In the preseason polls, Cabrini was picked to finish third behind Keystone College and Gwynedd-Mercy College. “Hopefully the guys can prove us wrong,” O’Hora said.

The women’s team hopes to have a successful injury-free season. Last season the women’s team was cursed with injury after injury. “This year is a rebuilding year for us,” O’Hora said.

The women’s team lacks experience but maintains a very positive attitude. In the preseason ranks, Cabrini was picked to finish third but the team hopes to prove them wrong.

The women’s team has three key returning runners. Coach O’Hora hopes for junior Diane Gapinski and sophomore Kelly McEachern to lead the team to victory. Tatiana Gomez and Erica Foley, runners who have previously only run once, are considered an advantage by O’Hora. “They haven’t picked up any bad habits and they aren’t burnt out,” O’Hora said.

Diane Gapinski hopes to improve all of her times at each meet and to stay healthy. “I hope this year we can all run in a strong pack. Last year we didn’t always have enough girls to race, which made it difficult,” Gapinski said. Before each race she said, “We all try and hang out or go out to dinner and personally I wear the same pair of socks for every race. I wash them though.”

“You start slow and end fast,” O’Hora said. “My goal for them is to run their best race in the championships in November. That’s all you can hope for.”

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Erin Nollen

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