Nebraska cross country has continuously improved in the last few seasons, which brings a lot of excitement for this year’s team. While most of last year’s newcomers were on the men’s team, that shifts this year with eight freshmen on the women’s side.
“I’m excited to see which freshmen develop into strong college runners,” head coach David Harris said. “I expect some to be fighting for their spot to run in the Big Ten Championship.”
Both the men’s and women’s team are returning all members that ran at last season’s Big Ten Championships, so they will be building on last year’s foundation.
“I believe both [the] men’s and women’s teams have the opportunity to be the best team Nebraska has had since they joined the Big Ten conference,” Harris said.
On the men’s side, the Huskers continue to improve their placement at the Big Ten Championships. In the last four years, they rose one spot each year going from 11th their first year to eighth last year.
The men are coming into the season with a lot of momentum after ending on a high note last season with both sophomore George Kusche and junior Mark Freyhof qualifying for the national championships.
“They go to the front of the race and run for the championship,” Harris said when discussing Kusche and Freyhof.
The women haven’t quite edged their way into the top 10 at the conference championships yet, so Harris notes that as a team goal for this season.
Junior Erika Freyhof ended last season placing in the top 15 at regionals, and senior Judi Jones was right behind. That duo will be a driving force for the Huskers this year.
Harris commended the athletes who have stepped up as leaders so far this season.
“Erika Freyhof, Judi Jones, along with Elsa Forsberg have commanded respect and been very good mentors, which is important with eight freshmen on the team,” Harris said. “Mark Freyhof, George Kusche, Karson LeComte and Jordan De Spong have really set an example for work ethic,” Harris said when referring to the leaders on the men’s side.
All of the excitement and drive will take them right into their first meet at Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sept. 6. The Huskers’ first home meet, the Greeno-Dirksen Invite, will be at Mahoney Golf Course on Sept. 21.