Photo by mvcyclones.com
Joey Fernandez, Sports Editor
Moraine Valley’s men’s cross country coach Dimitri Dimizas believes the 2021 season has a deeper meaning than in previous years.
With successes throughout all of last season, the team was left searching for more after a conference title.
Due to COVID protocols, which restricted the ability to have a regional or national championship, the team was unable to advance farther than running within its own conference.
Dimizas believes a conference title championship repeat is completely plausible with the team’s talent displayed so far.
“I feel like we have enough guys coming back and a lot of new additions to the team to where they should be able to repeat as conference champs,” he said.
But that won’t be enough for this team.
“The guys have mentioned extra motivation because of last year,” said Dimizas, who is reigning conference coach of the year. “Last year, if there was a normal season, they could have gone to nationals, so the guys coming back are using this year as redemption.”
Among the returning runners is reigning Skyway Conference runner of the year Jackson Sima. Dimizas says Sima has established himself as a leader on the team.
“He’s shooting for what we’re shooting for, and that is to repeat,” he said. “More importantly than him individually repeating as the champ, he really wants to lead the team to the conference title also.”
The team took third Friday in the PNW Cross Country Classic at Purdue. In the first meet at Elmhurst College, the team finished 10th out of 12 teams. Sima continued his successful MVCC career with a 74th place out of 155 runners, with Brandon Armendarez at 77th.
Next up is the Gil Dodds Invitational at Wheaton College on Saturday, beginning at 10:45 a.m. at St. James Farm in Warrenville.