Kemmerer, DSU amp up offseason routine
A season ago, the DeSales University womens cross country team finished third in the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships and 21st out of 52 teams in the NCAA Division III Mid-East Regional Championships.
With the Lady Bulldogs looking to take a few steps forward this season, as they have raced in three meets thus far, head coach Gordon Hornig made a few changes to his team's offseason preparation. In addition to an increase in distance the team was asked to run, the Bulldogs' practices have been more intense than recent years.
Junior Emma Kemmerer, a 2012 graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School, is a member of Hornig's team with a new edge in 2014. The dividends have paid off nicely so far.
"My coach gave us a schedule, and it was pretty bumped up in mileage from what we used to have," Kemmerer said. "We have a pretty good team this year, at least for competing for MACs this year. It was lot of getting the mileage in, and going at a faster pace than what we usually would do.
"I think our coach has definitely been working us harder. He definitely sees potential in us, so I think that has had an effect."
In the Dickinson College Long/Short Invitational on September 20, the Bulldogs placed fourth out of 35 teams. Kemmerer finished 94th (25:52.34) out of 268 runners in the 6K race. She was the fourth Bulldog to cross the finish line.
Two weeks earlier in Lebanon Valley College's Dutchmen Invitational, the Bulldogs finished fourth out of 11 teams. Kemerer was once again right at the front of the pack, finishing in 20th place with a time of 21:21.38.
As one of the Lady Bulldogs' top runners a year ago, Kemmerer is looking to replicate a season that is similar to 2013. She's hoping that change in the workout has a positive effect not only for her junior campaign, but also for the entire squad.
"It's very different this year in terms of practicing with pace and everything," Kemmerer said. "We're doing more workouts, two per week instead of one that we used to do before.
"For myself, I just want to be up there in the top seven hopefully. We have a really good team, so it's going to be really competitive. We're really looking to be a competitor for MACs, and hopefully do really well at regionals."
Kemmerer finished in 35th place at last year's MAC Cross Country Championships with a time of 26:06.17, the fifth Bulldog across the finish line.
When it comes to this season, Kemmerer is hoping for a similar finish.
"Definitely the top seven [on the team] I would say," Kemmerer said. "There is a bunch of us, [and] it can kind of be anyone depending on who has a good race and who has a bad race. We're all so close."
In addition to running cross country, Kemmerer also participates on the school's track and field team. But just like was the case at Northwestern, she enjoys the longer distance races more.
"I'm definitely a cross country girl," Kemmerer said. "I love the long distance. For track, I really like the 5K."
DeSales will compete in the Suny Geneseo Invitational on Saturday at Letchworth State Park in Leicester, NY.