Schwier reflects on XC season as two runners prep for NCAA Regionals


Joe Browning/UNCW Athletic Communications

Vanessa Dickerson, Staff Writer

The UNC Wilmington cross-country teams recently finished their season at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Cross Country Championships at Elon University. The men placed sixth while the women raced to a ninth-place finish.

There were standout performances from senior Calvin Daughtry and freshman Evan Jones, who both placed in the top 20. Freshman Emme Fisher finished her first CAA Championship in 42nd place.

Layne Schwier, the head coach for the Seahawks, was hoping for a better result. The Seahawks experienced some obstacles toward the end of the season that made keeping up with other CAA teams difficult. According to Schwier, the only meet that truly matters is the CAA tournament. Making sure the entire team is 100-percent healthy is imperative for their success.

“The tough part in our sport is having everyone healthy and ready to go on that one day out of the entire year,” Schwier said. “Down the stretch, we had a few illnesses late in the season and a couple of people banged up.”

The frontrunner for the women was nursing a foot injury, while another was recovering from a car accident – it wasn’t the ideal situation that Schwier and the Seahawks were hoping for as they tried to dig themselves out of the bottom of the conference.

“We were hoping to beat maybe one or two teams this year and start to climb up. The goal is to be a contender at the top,” Schwier says. “It’s going to take some time.”

Time is something that Schwier is hoping will help this team gain more experience. On the women’s team, seven out of the 10 total runners were freshmen. On the men’s team, three of nine runners were freshmen, with some new faces on the team as well.

With the decision to sit senior and former two-time all-CAA runner Alex Boseman, Schwier knew the team was going to be down quite a bit from last year.

“We were going to red-shirt him so that he can use that eligibility next year as a graduate student. So not having him in the lineup this season definitely hurt the team results a lot,” Schwier said.

Without Boseman, that left some space open for a new leader to step up and lead the men’s team. That leader was the returning Daughtry. He worked hard all season, which ended up paying off. He placed 15th at the CAA Championships and is working toward a trip to NCAA Regionals at UVA in two weeks.

As for next season, Schwier is hoping to continue to get better after the newcomers experienced their first season this year. He’s hoping his athletes can build on what they started this year.

“Our philosophy is to be better than yesterday,” Schwier said. “We want to build on our experience and carry that momentum through to next season.”

Daughtry and Jones will be the two Seahawk runners representing UNCW at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 13. After regionals are over, the cross-country runners will have a couple of weeks of rest time before the track season begins in the spring.

Staff Writer Vanessa Dickerson can be found on Twitter @nessadickerson. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to [email protected]. For video updates from The Seahawk, subscribe to our YouTube channel.