Some Eastern New Mexico University’s athletic teams have kicked off their seasons while others are preparing too, but they are all working hard to have a top season in their sports, according to coaches.
The ENMU men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off their season at Texas Tech on Sept. 14.
There are a lot of close by cross country meets this year for both teams, according to men’s and women cross country coach Jeff Kavalunas, and with West Texas A&M hosting the Lone star conference championships this year, the chance to come out and support the hounds is here.
On the men’s side, there is a large number of returning student-athletes with four seniors.
“We have a lot of young talent coming in this year with a lot of eagerness, and we are looking to shock some people in the conference,” said Kavalunas. “The seventh-ranked hounds are looking to get back to their old ways with a fourth place from 2016.”
On the women’s side, there is also some new talent with two new international members from Kenya.
“It’s quite the transition for our two newest members of the team. Coming to the U.S for these girls, it is a completely different world than what they are used to, so it will take some time for it all to gel, but these girls have some talent,” said Kavalunas told the Chase.
Also, on the women’s side is returning senior Mercy Rotich, who placed sixth in the NCAA national championships in 2016.
The season is up and running for the ENMU women’s soccer team with their next home game on Thursday, Sept. 13 where they will play host to Oklahoma’s East Central University.
New head women’s coach Joshua Smith is looking to make an impact right away.
“We have six returning seniors and a few coming back from injury, so we have a very experienced class this year, and we’re looking to bring a lot to the table,” Smith said, adding that the team has been working hard over the summer and hopes to progress past the semifinals this year.