Cross country looks to make new strides


Moses Aloiloi and Emma Newton, two of Tulane cross country’s top competitors, are expected to help lead the team to victory this fall.

Clara Harrington, Sports Editor

Following a long summer break, the Tulane cross country team is ready to return and excited to bring new changes this fall. 

Despite falling short of high hopes the team held last year, both the men’s and women’s teams are preparing to strengthen the team’s basis through the recruitment of new runners as well as the honing in on the skills of returners. 

“We’re really trying to strengthen the foundation of our team by adding more talented and quality runners to our program,” head coach Eric Peterson said. “I feel that we’ve done that, both on the men’s and the women’s side. We’re now finally getting some growth and maturity out of our returning athletes…as a result of we expect to be more competitive within the conference.”

The women’s team will look to freshmen runners Sarah Cella and Mary Catherine Stovall for team improvement this fall. There are high expectations from Peterson that both girls, having trained intensely in preparation for this season, will be top competitors for the Green Wave. 

“They have obviously worked hard over the summertime and early on,” Peterson said. “They’re looking like they’re going to be able to mix into our top seven.”

Junior Emma Newton will work to increase her speed throughout the season as well as placing higher in the American Athletic Conference and in regional competitions. Newton’s goals for the women’s team as a whole this season focus on working cohesively and efficiently.

“Our front five girls are typically pretty consistent, and it’s really the last two spots on the team that have been really rotated around throughout the past couple of years,” Newton said. “I think that coming from behind and having everyone work together as a team, instead of focusing on their individual goals and times… would be really more of a team goal.”

The men’s team will be introducing Devyn Keith, who won the Louisiana Cross Country State Championships multiple times, as the team’s only freshman this year.

Cross country will also rely on its veteran runners to lead the way to victory. Among the men’s runners, junior Moses Aloiloi and sophomore Emmanuel Rotich are expected to have high-ranking performances.

“On the men’s side, I really feel that Emmanuel and Moses individually have the ability to qualify for the national championships,” Peterson said. “Their goals are going to be to place in the top five in the conference championship, and then also repeat that at our regional meet.”

On Sept. 3, cross country will travel to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in its first meet of the season, the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic.

Newton will not be participating in the team’s first meet because of a stress injury from the beginning of the summer; however, she will be running for Tulane as the season continues.

“I think [the meet is] going to be a true test,” Peterson said. “It’s going to give kids an opportunity to really see where they are after their summer’s work, of training, and give us some good information on what we need to work on.”