CHARLESTON, S.C. - The men's cross country team is getting ready for the Big South Conference Championship with Jeryck Wilson in the lead. Wilson has set a solid standard of progression, leadership, and teamwork this season. The sophomore has already broken his personal record in the 8k by over a minute (25:05) and is determined to push himself and the team into the top 10.
"I'm mentally and physically prepared for Conference. I think I can make the top 10. As a team, I definitely believe we can take 3rd place. No doubt in my mind, a hundred percent positive that can happen," said Wilson.
The elected team that will head off to the Conference Championship in Virginia this weekend consists of seven freshmen and two sophomores. Wilson thinks this can be an advantage since the young group is eager to show their ability. Another strength the team has is trusting in a greater purpose and the coach, which lays the foundation for peak performance at crunch time.
"We are a young pack, hungry to show what we can do," said Wilson. "The program and the progress this year is really good. I believe it's because of Coach Stintzi. The Lord led him here and brought in a great group of guys," said Wilson, who spends time with his teammates both during and after practice.
Wilson describes the team as a hard-working force to be reckoned with. Still, the "wolf pack" has a lot of fun and radiates positive energy, under the coaching and guidance of Jim Stintzi, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. This year, Wilson has taken on more responsibility, and has been leading the whole team by example.
"Coach Stintzi placed a certain amount of trust in me that I can lead this team because I showed that I will do what he says without question last year. Once he figured out that I was listening to what he was saying I received that responsibility," Wilson explained.
Wilson got saved just before he came to Charleston Southern University and became a Buccaneer. Running kept him out of trouble during his younger years and now God plays a big part in helping him stay on the right path.
"God really opened my eyes to where I want to go in life and what direction to take. I had a tough environment to grow up in and I liked the Christian atmosphere and the vibe around here," said Wilson about his choice to attend CSU.
Wilson is the first one in his family to make it to college. He is majoring in kinesiology and has already pushed past his limits and what he thought was possible.
"In the following years I think we can make nationals. We may not be at the very top in the nation but perhaps top 25. By moving step by step with Coach Stintzi it's definitely achievable. We are already way better than I thought we could ever be," concluded Wilson.
On Friday morning the team will head off to the 2017 Big South Conference Cross Country Championship in Lynchburg, Virginia. All 10 Big South members will participate in the competitive 8k race that shoots off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 28th.