Southeastern sports: Cross country hosts invitational Sept. 4

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Photo by Robin Spencer

Southeastern’s cross country team includes: (front row, from left) Amber Eichelberger, Danielle Hartman, Kari Nickell, Lindsey Kay Schutte; (back row) Coach Josh Murray, Sarah Dunaway, Marie Egbert and Marian Benham.

Running is in Josh Murray’s blood. At Southeastern, he was named most valuable player, won the conference cross country meet as a freshman, and placed eighth in the state track meet in the two-mile. At Shawnee State, he was a member of the cross country team that went to nationals.

Now, Murray is getting his running fix as a coach. The 2003 Southeastern graduate started last spring as an assistant track coach at his alma mater. This fall, he is head cross country coach.

“I’ve always wanted to coach. Ideally, I would like to coach and teach,” said Murray, who is pursuing a degree in education at Urbana University.

His first order of business as cross country coach is to “rebuild a winning attitude and help his runners come together as a team, rather than as individuals.”

“At the beginning of the season, I asked them for goal sheets on times. I told them to be unrealistic. I want them to think big,” Murray said. “It’s a rebuilding year, but there is a lot of potential for this year and the next couple of years.”

The team’s top runner is freshman Marie Egbert, who ran track in middle school and has could make a run at regionals and state, he said.

Battling for the next top spots are junior Marian Benham, who could break into the 23-minute range, Junior Lindsey Schutte, who can run hard, and Sarah Dunaway, who ran sprints in middle school.

Poised to lower their times substantially are the team’s lone senior and captain, Amber Eichelberger, and juniors Danielle Hartman and Kari Nickell.

This year, Southeastern has one boy running cross country. Junior Tim Tinrose is giving the sport a go for the first time to keep in shape for baseball.

SE CROSS COUNTRY SCHEDULE

Sept. 4  SE Invitational          

Sept.  8   @ Xenia Christian    

Sept. 15  @ Friendship Invit.       

Sept. 18   @ Ohio Caverns    

Sept.  22  @ George Rogers Invit.     

Sept. 29  @ Buck Creek    

Oct.   6  @ Clark County             

Oct. 11  @ OHC

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