DUBOIS – A roster of five runners will make up the Penn State DuBois men’s and women’s cross country team this year.
Runners are currently training for the fall season. Team members are Juliann Boddorf, Matthew Burke, and Tamera Anthony, all form Punxsutawney; Micah Shaffer of DuBois, and Austin Hawkins of Philadelphia.
The team members bring a wide variety of athletic experiences and accomplishments to the table.
Boddorf graduated from Punxsutawney Area High School. She qualified for the PIAA state championships every year of her high school career. She was the District IX champion last year with a time of 20:19. She will be a freshmen majoring in occupational therapy.
A fellow Punxsutawney High graduate, Burke identifies more as a sprinter but runs a pretty impressive 5k at a personal best of 18:26. He placed ninth last year in the District IX championships. Burke will join the team as a freshmen majoring in computer engineering.
Anthony, another Punxsutawney High classmate will be a freshman at Penn State DuBois majoring in pre-med. She proved herself against a tough District IX by coming in 19th overall at the District XI AA championships.
Shaffer is a graduate from DuBois Area High School where he played tennis and soccer. He comes to Penn State DuBois from Gannon University, where he played rugby. He will be a sophomore this fall and is majoring in environmental engineering.
Hawkins is a sophomore at Penn State DuBois, majoring in business management. He graduated from Philadelphia Electric High School. Hawkins also plays guard for the Penn State DuBois men’s basketball team.
“I couldn’t be more excited for this year,” said head coach Kyle Gordon. “Last year, I started my tenure as the head cross country coach and only had one runner (Garrett Pensak).
Garrett went all the way to Nationals and finished in the top 46 percent. This year, we have a slight increase in numbers, but the talent on this team is remarkable. I’m very excited to have three runners from Punxsutawney which has one of the best cross country programs around.
“On top of these three freshmen, I have two upperclassmen joining the ranks that are seasoned athletes and have shown that they have the discipline and drive necessary to be successful in this sport. Together, I think we are going to make a lot of teams nervous in our conference, especially as we continue to grow.”
The Penn State DuBois cross country team is scheduled for its first meet on Sept. 13, at the Penn State Greater Allegheny Invitational.
Additionally, the team will participate in the Growling Beaver/Roaring Lion 5k, which Coach Gordon helped to organize. The 5K is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Aug. 30, at Wasson Elementary School in DuBois. The run is open to the public. For registration information, contact Kyle Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org.