Allen Community College women's coach Vince DeGrado knows this year's team will be without multi All American and National Champion Kaitlyn Shoemaker after she graduated and moved onto the 4-year school. However, that didn't stop the women's team from picking up where they left off with their strong showing.
"I've been asked by a lot of members of the community, how will I handle not having Kaitlyn around." DeGrado said. "I usually reply with she didn't start winning National titles until track so ask me when that comes around." He knows you can't replace somebody that accomplished so much however he isn't trying to, he's just continuing what he's done for the past 12 years. "I've just looked at this as I have all the previous years, they'll be another great runner that comes through and then leaves. She wasn't the 1st for the most part and she won't be the last."
On the women's side, freshman Amber Gloria didn't take long in establishing herself as the #1 runner and really set the tone for her teammates to have somebody to follow. She did a great job finished third with a time of 15:27.41 followed by sophomore Abby Steinhauser who finished with a time of 15:33.93 and freshman Betty Ramos finished with a time of 15:57.03
"Our women as a whole did great," DeGrado said. "I didn't know what to expect because we lost a lot to graduation and we have a lot of freshmen. Plus, we have some typical knick-knack injuries that I don't like to get but it is what it is."
The Red Devils only return two sophomores after last year's 7th place finish at the NJCAA Cross Country National Championship but Amber Gloria has already impressed DeGrado in her short time on campus.
"She's really figured the running thing out and she's just going to get better and better," DeGrado said. "Abby will keep closing the cap to her and will bring the rest of the team with her."
Up next, Allen County will head to Memphis, Tenn. on Saturday to compete in the Brooks Memphis Twilight Race