|2003 season preview||August 2003|
Coach Mark Robinson's Cardinals return six of their top seven from a team that finished third in the Capital Athletic Conference Championships in 2002. The team also had a dual meet record of 9-0. Hampered by an injury to standout Tim Daly late in the season, the team finished 14th in the NCAA Southern Region.
Leading the squad is two-time defending Capital Athletic Conference Runner of the Year Michael Audette. Last season Audette bounced back from an early season injury to come on strong and win the CAC Individual Championship at York College, defending the title he won at Goucher in 2001. During the season, the team had several strong performances, most notably winning the Bridgewater Invitational and placing 3rd in the highly competitive Roanoke Invitational which features many of the strongest teams in the Southern Region.
No.2 runner Kevin Slattery showed great form early in the season, winning the Bridgewater invitational title, and finishing third at the York Invitational after leading that meet for almost the entire race. At various times the team also got strong performances from many of the newcomers. Matt Przydzial ran in the top 5 most of the season and was instrumental in several successful team outings. Tim Daly was a top 5 finisher in two invitational meets, taking second at York and fifth at Bridgewater. Nigel Gully opened the season with a sub 28:30 8k at Salisbury showing great promise for the future and Dan McCormick was in the top 5 in several meets.
For 2003, the team is looking to add depth and consistency, and should be bolstered by the added experience the young runners gained last season. Several freshmen are expected to contribute, especially Andrew Ctinanovich from New Orleans, La. and Kevin Milsted from Gaithersburg Md. Junior College transfer John Lynch should move into the top 5 as well, and give the team another experienced runner.
The team's minimum goals for 2003 are to garner a top 10 ranking in the NCAA Southern Region and to improve on their finish in the Capital Athletic Conference. Individually senior Mike Audette is looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, a goal that he barely missed in 2001 and 2002. His 26:16 time at the NCAA Regionals last season shows that he is ready to compete for All-American honors this season.