Cross country to rebuild, host Bear Twilight Invitational

Baylor cross country runners fly off the starting point Aug. 31, 2018 at the Bear Twilight Invitational last season. The men placed first and the women placed second. Lariat File Photo

By Ahfaaz Merchant | Sports Writer

No. 6 Baylor cross country is set to take the stage tonight as the host of the Bear Twilight Invitational.

There are a lot of newcomers to the team this season, and head coach Jon Capron has big visions for his runners and the achievements they hope to accomplish.

“I am looking for growth,” Capron said. “I want us to get better from top to bottom — that’s what it is. Across the board, I think everyone on my team has the capacity to run much faster than they have so far. They all have the opportunity to do so, and that’s something I am very excited about for this season in general.”

With many of the veterans gone, the team is fairly “young” with six freshman, three sophomores, two juniors and one senior.

Many of the returners this season are sophomores that have taken the spotlight, not only to shine in competition, but to blaze the trail for the freshmen who have been recruited to the team.

Some of the key runners this year for the Bears include sophomore Celia Holmes, freshman Ryan Hodge and senior Lindsay Walton. Holmes expressed her enthusiasm in stepping up for her squad.

“I am excited to help lead the team this year,” Holmes said. “I just really want to help out as much as I can.”

Holmes is a young talent on the roster this year and one to look out for. The Waco native was one of only three Bears to score at all six meets, and she made her collegiate debut with an 8th place finish at the Bear twilight Invitational last fall.

The men’s season was cut short last year due to injuries, but Capron hopes that won’t be the case this year. One positive thing came about due to those injuries: the depth chart available for Capron.

The University of Texas will be competing in the Bear Twilight Invitational for the first time, which has many of the Bears, including senior Lindsay Walton, who is excited for the upcoming meet.

“We’ll get to race against them, and then again when they come back for conference,” Walton said. “So, it should be a good time to see them on our home turf for the first time.”

The team has seven meets this year beginning with the Bear Twilight Invitational at 7 p.m. Friday at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex.