MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Tim Sanville announced on Wednesday the group of 11 recruited student-athletes who will join the roster during the 2018-19 academic year.
Sanville, who is entering his first season as cross country coach this fall, helped the Brandywine men's track & field team to an eighth place finish at the United States College Athletic Association Championship last spring in just its second season as a varsity outdoor program.
The 2018 incoming class consists of three women: Aileen Flaherty, Jhade Gibson, and Catharine Mooney; and eight men: Brian Abel, Ryan Cassidy, Chin Farmer, Dayshon Farmer, Bobby Heath, Luke Lasure, Myles Weston and Michael Ziegler.
Flaherty comes to Brandywine with cross country experience at Ridley High School. In 2018, she completed the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, the largest 10-Mile road race in the United States, in one hour, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds.
"[Brandywine is] close to home," said Flaherty, who will compete on the cross country team in the fall and run long distance events for the track & field team. "[It has a] fun team atmosphere."
Gibson, out of Upper Darby High School, holds three years of track and field experience. Off the track, Gibson excelled in the classroom, making honor roll or distinguished honor roll every semester in high school.
'[Brandywine is] closer and more affordable," said Gibson, a vertical jumper for the Brandywine track & field squad. "Also, [there's] more one on one time with teachers and staff."
Mooney, a graduate of Garnet Valley High School, comes to Brandywine after four years of varsity track and field experience for the Jaguars. A team captain and member of both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, Mooney has experience in the in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays, as well as the 300-meter hurdles. During her junior season, Mooney began running long distance events, earning the team's coach's award and qualified for the PIAA State Championships as a member of the 4x800 meter relay.
"Both of my brothers and my dad are Penn State alumni so growing up I have always loved the school," said Mooney. "I chose Brandywine for multiple reasons: I live roughly 10 minutes away so I have decided to commute and save money; I thrive in a small class environment and knowing my professor, so I thought the class size of Brandywine would fit perfect for my learning habits; I chose Brandywine so I would have two more years to mature before going off and trying to live on my own."
Abel joins the Lions after a successful career in both track and cross country at Amesbury High School in Massachusetts. With four years of varsity cross country experience, Abel was named team captain his senior year. As team MVP in 2016 and 2017, Abel helped the Indians win back-to-back Cape Ann League Championships and a Division V Massachusetts State Championship in 2017.
A long-distance runner, Abel ran two seasons for the Amesbury track team, helping it to a 2018 Cape Ann League title and runner-up finish in the Division IV State Championship.
"[Brandywine gave me the] opportunity to run track and cross country," said Abel. "[There's a] great campus environment [and allows me] to spend junior and senior year at University Park."
Cassidy makes his way to Brandywine after a career as a three-sport athlete at local Sun Valley High School. A member of the lacrosse, cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams, Cassidy will run cross country and long distance track events for Brandywine after setting school records and qualifying for the state championships during his time at Sun Valley.
"Penn State has a good engineering program and Brandywine is more affordable," said Cassidy.
Chin Farmer arrives at Brandywine from Byron, Ga., where he attended Peach County High School and ran track and field. A regional and state qualifier, Farmer competed in the finals of multiple individual events.
"[Brandywine] was right for me and I plan to excel my future there," said Farmer, who will run sprints for the track & field team.
Dayshon Farmer owns track and field experience at William Tennent High School and will be a sprinter for the Lions during the winter and spring track seasons.
"I chose Penn State Brandywine because it's not too far from home, [is a] beautiful campus, and I'll be running track," said Farmer.
Heath will join the Lions after a track and field career at Reading High School. A county champion, Heath also brought home the Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association Firing Meet crown. He will be a horizontal jumper for the Lions' track & field team.
"I chose Penn State Brandywine because I love the athletic program," said Heath. "Also, they have my major and that's also a great program."
Lasure comes to Brandywine from Great Valley High School, where he competed in the pole vault for four years. His top pole vault mark stands at 13-feet, 6-inches during the 2018 Ches-Mont Championships.
Weston, a native of New Castle, Del., possesses experience in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter sprints. A graduate of Delaware Military Academy, Weston was named team captain in 2018, while also completing his club career with the First State Destroyers. He will run sprints for the Brandywine track & field team during the winter and spring seasons.
"[Brandywine gives me an] opportunity to improve my high school times and compete for a national championship in the 4x100 meter relay," said Weston.
Ziegler, a two-sport athlete at Pottsgrove High School, enters Brandywine with four years of varsity track experience and two years of varsity basketball experience. During his track career, Ziegler was named to three All-Pioneer Athletic Conference second teams, while qualifying for the District 1 meet twice. On the basketball court, Ziegler was an All-PAC 10 Second Team standout.
"Penn State Brandywine is very affordable compared to other schools, along with a great education and is not too far from home," said Ziegler, who will be a vertical jumper for the track & field team.
Brandywine cross country opens the 2018 season on September 1 t the Delaware Valley Invitational in Doylestown, Pa.