Moraine Valley Community College || Athletics || Mens' Cross Country

Men's Cross Country

August 28, 2014

Experienced Cyclones ready to tear up some courses in 2014

The 2014 Cyclones can be summed up in one word: “EXPERIENCED.” All but one runner from last year returns, and the two new runners are veterans in their own right.

In 2013 the men finished third at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship and three members qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association championship. Of the three, conference runner-up and All-Region IV first team selection Dawid Palac (Reavis) and All-Region IV third team runner Brandon Ceh (Evergreen Park) return and will be counted on heavily to score for the Cyclones.

“We are expecting big things from Dawid and Brandon as they are themselves. Both have been through the wars and achieved success last year. Now they have to use what they learned to reach even higher. They are very capable of doing that,” said Mark Horstmeyer, who returns in his 15th year as coach.

Also expected to be a significant contributor is Anthony Briante (Evergreen Park). If commitment, dedication and hard work are any indication of future success, “Anthony will be outstanding. He really put in the miles this summer and continues to work hard every day. We are expecting great things from him this year, and he is up to the challenge,” Horstmeyer said.

The newest members of the team also will have a huge impact on this season’s fortunes. Yousef Khazneh (Richards) and Braulio Castellanos (Reavis) have a wealth of high school and track experience. “Yousef ran all summer—he has high aspirations for this season. If what he has shown us so far is any indication, he will have an outstanding season,” Horstmeyer said. “Braulio will be very solid for us, and that’s what we need. He has shown us consistency and improvement, and that’s what we want out of him.”

Shoring up the Cyclone effort this season are returnees Justin Briante (Evergreen Park), Anton Thauer (St. Rita), Alejandro Montes (Eisenhower), Jesus Rojas (Eisenhower), and Larry Byrd (Evergreen Park). “We have really been impressed with the way Justin and Alejandro have prepared for this season. They have put in a lot of miles over the summer, and that will really help us and them to accomplish our mission. We are really pleased with their focus,” Horstmeyer said. “Anton came on really strong at the end of last season when it counted the most, and we think he is capable of accomplishing a lot more. Jesus was hampered by illness at the wrong time of the season last year, but we think he’ll be ready to help us this year. He is determined. Larry needs to continue to improve. He showed by the end of last year that he is capable of making that commitment to do whatever it takes to reach his goals and meet our expectations.”

The focus and experience of this squad can only lead to a successful season. “We have been very pleased with what we have seen in the early going. Our returnees know the ropes, but most importantly they know what they have to do this season in training and in races to accomplish even greater things. They are up to the task. Our new guys are showing us that they too are committed to doing all they can to make this season memorable. This will be a fun group of guys to watch and see how they use their experience to reach even greater heights,” their coach said.