Distance Dores Deepen Depth

Seven newcomers will join the cross country and women's track rosters

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt’s director of cross country and track and field, Althea Thomas, has announced the addition of seven newcomers to the cross country and track rosters for the upcoming fall season.

Dylan Ballard, Brody Haar, Michael Schumacher and David Song are the additions to the men’s cross country team. Audrey Allman, Mackenzie Culpepper and Johna Grisik will join the women’s cross country and track squads.

Allman prepped at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She competes in the 800 and 1,600 meters with bests of 2:12 and 4:49, respectively. Allman is the 2022 Illinois state 1,600 meter champion. She also finished fifth overall at the state cross country meet.

Ballard, a native of Bellaire, Texas, is a Texas regional 1,600-meter qualifier. He has a personal best in the event of 4:22. He aided Bellaire High School to the 2021 Texas district championship, and was also the individual winner at the district cross country meet that fall.

Culpepper is a native of Hoover, Alabama, where she prepped at Spain Park High School. She is an Alabama state champion five times over, twice in the 800 meters and several times in the 400 meters. Her personal bests in the events are 56.44 in the 400 meters, 2:11 in the 800 meters and 5:02 in the 1,600 meters. She finished second overall in the state of Alabama in cross country.

Grisik hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and Marist High School. She has prep bests of 2:11 in the 800 meters and 4:59 in the 1,600 meters. The four-time Georgia state champion has a pair of victories in the 800 meters and two in the 1,600 meters. Grisik took second at the state cross country meet.

Haar competed for Brophy College Preparatory School in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a two-time all-state athlete in cross country and the 3,200 meters. His prep bests are 4:20 in the 1,600 meters and 9:23 in the 3,200 meters. He finished sixth overall at the state cross country meet.

Schumacher was the runner-up in the 2022 Illinois state 3,200 meters. He prepped at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His prep bests are 4:20 in the mile and 9:21 in the 3,200 meters. Schumacher notched a sixth-place finish at the state cross country meet in 2021.

Song is a native of Alameda High School in Alameda, California. The state cross country qualifier has personal bests of 4:17 in the 1,600 meters and 9:29 in the 3,200 meters. He tallied a top-25 finish at the 2021 state meet.

Under the guidance of Thomas and assistant coach Michael Porter, the 2021-22 distance Dores tallied successes both on and off the field of competition. Academically, the Commodores had 21 student-athletes on the 2021 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll, five total on the 2021-22 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll, several USTFCCCA All-Academic honorees, a pair of CoSIDA All-District selections, a first-team Academic All-America honoree and the SEC Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Athletically, a trio of cross country Commodores earned all-region honors from the USTFCCCA. McKenzie Yanek and Grace Jensen competed at the NCAA East Preliminaries in the 1,500 and 10,000 meters, respectively.