LANCASTER, Pa. -- Following a solid 2010 campaign, big expectations are in store for the Franklin & Marshall men's cross country team in 2011. Under head coach John Stoudt, seven runners qualified for the Mid-East regional. Five of those runners return this year, giving the Diplomats veteran leadership.
"This is the deepest, most talented team we've had in four years," says Stoudt. "We believe we have the talent to compete at the next level. One of our goals for this season is to place in the top 15 at regionals."
Junior Greg Duckloe leads the way for the Diplomats. He improved on his time of 27:35 at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Regional by 26 seconds at last years regional. Duckloe also had a second place finish at the York Invitational.
Other top returnees include juniors Angelo Arce, Tim Merlino, and Josh Wesalo. Arce finished sixth in the York Invitational, and placed in the top 20 on two other occasions. Merlino tallied a 12th place finish at the York Invitational with a time of 28:17, and also recorded a top 20 finish at Delaware. Wesalo turned in a ninth place performance at York with a time of 28:07, and also finished in the top 20 at Delaware.
The incoming freshmen include Bryan Andrews, who is expected to contribute as a top runner this year. Andrews placed 16th in the 2010 PIAA Class AAA Cross-Country Championships. Other newcomers are Tom Hague, Phil Johnson, Steve Jordan, Greg and Luk Olenginski, and Steve Sklar.
The Diplomats begin their season on September 3, at Millersville. The meet begins at 10:00 a.m.