First year Head Coach Griggs Covington and his Spring Hill College Badgers Cross Country teams will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., on Friday afternoon to open their seasons at the 27th Annual University of Southern Mississippi Invitational. "Overall both the men's and the women's teams look strong," comments Covington regarding the preseason work outs, "We have a lot of talented runners returning and some impressive new team members, as well."
This year the men's squad looks particularly solid with the return of junior Patrick Aucoin of River Ridge, La. In 2007, Aucoin finished in third place at the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championships with a time of 28:10.61 while pacing his team to a second place conference finish and third place Region XIII showing. Covington is not shy about his confidence in his team captain stating, "Patrick is one of the top runners in the conference."
Covington also points to newcomers sophomore Austin Fox of Dothan and freshman David Otero of Miami, Fla., as two of his latest additions that will have immediate impact on the team's fortunes in 2007.
For the women runners, senior captain Amy Lyon from Mobile leads the charge of top returning runners from the 2006 team that finished second at the GCAC Championships at Clinton, Miss. Junior Katie Goodwin of Mobile will also provide the Lady Badgers with experience and leadership. Covington has several freshmen joining his women's team in '07 including Mobile native Blakely Duhé of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School who enjoyed a noticeably strong preseason showing.