Freshmen pair join cross country

Two freshmen have joined the men’s cross country team as walk-ons, coach James Snyder confirmed Tuesday.

Freshman Cody Cameron joined the team during the summer, while Chris Miller was added to the roster in mid-September. Both runners have redshirted for the season.

Also planning to redshirt is freshman Katie Hayes, Snyder said. Hayes suffered an ankle injury in high school that has yet to fully heal. Hayes ran in the beginning of the season, but spent most of her season recovering from the injury.

The team also looks to take advantage of the new signing period for cross country runners from Nov. 12-19.

This is the first year that the NCAA is opening up an early signing period. In the past, the signing period has started in February.

“They pushed the later period back into April and opened up a one-week window in November where we are able to sign prospective student athletes,” Snyder said.

For the Owls, Snyder feels that this can be beneficial as he thinks the coaching staff “does their homework.”

“In a program like we are, where we are kind of in a building process, trying to find out our identity, I think of it as a real distinct advantage,” Snyder said. “I like to think that between me, coach [Steve] Fuelling, coach [Elvis] Forde and coach [Shameka] Marshall, we do our homework on the front end of recruiting and identifying young men and women who we think are going to be really successful.”

“We kind of have the ability to swoop in and sign those kids early,” Snyder added, “before they end up being what we project them to be, where big school X says ‘Why don’t you come run for our school?’”

-Ed LeFurge III