CHICAGO – Just over three weeks until the Saint Xavier University men's cross country team kicks off its 2013 campaign, head coach Ed McAllister is excited about the additions to the team roster this season in freshmen Alex Ray from Crown Point, Ind., and Abel Hernandez from Alsip, Ill., as well as senior transfer Brian Meyer. Ray hails from Crown Point High School and Hernandez was a former standout runner at Shepard High School. Ray was a three-time cross country state qualifier in high school, finishing 72nd at the Indiana high school state championships last fall. Hernandez also was a state finalist during his senior season at Shepard finishing 61st at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) boys cross country state championship. Hernandez plans to earn a biology degree at SXU, while Ray intends to pursue a degree in nursing.
Meyer, a native of Bloomington, Ill., transferred to Saint Xavier University from Ashford University (Iowa) after graduating from Bloomington High School. Meyer was a national finalist in the NAIA marathon in 2013 while at Ashford University. He will be finishing a biology degree at SXU. Coach McAllister strongly believes that this trio will contribute instantly and mesh well with the returning runners from last season's squad that finished third overall in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
"I feel extremely positive about all three of these young men," said McAllister. "Meyer has already proven himself at the collegiate level having run some high quality times in both cross country and in the marathon. He should be able to step right in with our squad and produce an immediate impact. Both of our freshmen are extremely exciting young men.
"Hernandez is a real sleeper," continued McAllister. "He has improved substantially throughout his high school career and I feel that he will improve considerably at the next level. Ray has been a high mileage runner throughout his high school career in an outstanding Crown Point program. I believe he will enjoy the college distance and I can easily see Alex having an immediate impact on an already deep and talented pool of Cougar harriers. I am excited to have all of these three young men with us."