Lynchburg leaving its mark on men's cross country team

Lynchburg cross country runners (left to right) Justin Dorner-Thomas, Andrew Johnson, Tristan Lucy-Speidel, Tyrell Armstrong, Hunter Frizzell, Reid Sharkey, Shawn Gmurek, and Brandon Haag show off their Hornet tattoos on the track.
Lynchburg cross country runners (left to right) Justin Dorner-Thomas, Andrew Johnson, Tristan Lucy-Speidel, Tyrell Armstrong, Hunter Frizzell, Reid Sharkey, Shawn Gmurek, and Brandon Haag show off their Hornet tattoos on the track.

Lynchburg, Va. -- One could say the Lynchburg cross country and track & field program has left its mark on the 2018-19 men's team.

Well, at least on eight of them.

That imprint will be front-and-center when the Lynchburg men's cross country team lines up for Saturday's Paul Short Run on Lehigh University's Goodman Campus. All you have to do is look on their thighs, where the 1980s-era Lynchburg Hornet logo is displayed prominently -- and permanently -- an unmistakable red and black tattoo.

Senior Tristan Lucy-Speidel (Fort Valley, Va.); juniors Shawn Gmurek (Parkton, Md.), Reid Sharkey (Fairfax, Va.); and sophomores Tyrell Armstrong (Perry Hall, Md.), Justin Dorner-Thomas (Raleigh, N.C.), Hunter Frizzell (Fredericksburg, Va.), Brandon Haag (Evington, Va.), and Andrew Johnson (Greencastle, Pa.) all sport the distinctive mark -- a hornet with a gritty expression, its six hands clenched in fists and ready to do battle.

Like many logos of the era, it is cartoonish and, to quote Frizzell, "terrible."

But emboldened by school spirit and inspired by an old basketball sideline chair bearing the logo, the group had joked about getting inked for years.

"It just seemed like this year, when it was brought up, it seemed different. There was an actual guts to go with it," Lucy-Speidel said.

And on the way home from the season's first meet at Appalachian State, they made the final decision: It was happening that weekend.

"It was a three-year buildup for a 10-second decision," Gmurek said.

So five of them found their ways to Jesse James Tattoo in downtown Lynchburg and presented the design to the artists.

Frizzell recalled the reaction vividly: "Are you sure this is what you want?"

It was.

Another interested party, head cross country coach Jake Reed, had a similar reaction.

"You idiots," Reed remembered saying. "What are your parents going to think?"

But Lucy-Speidel insisted his mother loved it, much to everyone's surprise. And once Reed considered the permanence of a tattoo, he decided it could be a good sign as well.

"You realize that they have bought into the culture," he said. "They do love what we're doing here, and they've embraced being a part of Lynchburg cross country and Lynchburg track & field."

Frizzell, a sophomore not far into a promising career -- he won the outdoor 800-meter conference championship as a freshman -- echoed that sentiment.

"We're a close group regardless. Obviously, it did bring us a little closer. It's just hilarious. .. But I feel like there's a deeper sense of team unity now," he said.

Each mark has its own characteristics. Sharkey's bears a red mustache; some of them have quirky eyes or color on the wings. Gmurek and Frizzell even named theirs (Howie and Jefe, respectively).

"It's something that will be on me forever no matter where I go, and it will always remind me of how great this team is," Gmurek said, "and how much dumb fun we have shared over the years."

The cross country team's lone senior parroted the program pride.

"You get pointed out for being an athlete, getting All-ODAC or all-region, Academic All-American, stuff like that," Lucy-Speidel said.

"I would say it's similar to those things -- you're doing it because you love it."

--LYN--

No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
Final
54 Meredith
70 vs. Emory & Henry
@ Lynchburg, Va. Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 30
Final
76 Emory & Henry
56 at No. 16 Chris. Newport
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Fri Jan 18
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
Final
66 Lynchburg
55 at Randolph
Wed Jan 23
Final - OT
88 Guilford
82 No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
Fri Jan 25
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
Vince Brown Invitational
@ Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Fri Feb 08
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Fri Feb 08
1 p.m.
Texas Christian
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Feb 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
1:00 PM
Salisbury
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sun Feb 10
Randolph IHSA
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Fri Feb 15
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Feb 16
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Franklin & Marshall
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Fri Feb 22
2:00 PM
Ferrum
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
Hollins IHSA
Sat Feb 23
9:30 AM
Olivet
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Cabrini
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Rowan
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
ODAC Indoor Championships
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sun Feb 24
10 a.m.
Lynchburg IHSA
Sun Feb 24
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Cary, N.C. William Peace Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Fri Mar 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Sat Mar 02
Roanoke Last Chance Qualifier
@ Salem, Va.
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Suicide Awareness Day
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at York (Pa.)
One Love Foundation Game
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Frostburg St.
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Mon Mar 04
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 1
Tue Mar 05
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 2
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
3:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
4:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Wed Mar 06
4:00 PM
Gwynedd Mercy
Lynchburg
Fri Mar 08
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Fri Mar 08
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Fri Mar 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salem
Sat Mar 09
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Sat Mar 09
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Columbia (S.C.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Gordon
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
12:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Elizabethtown
@ U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Sparks, Md.
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Mon Mar 11
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Swarthmore
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational
@ Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
2:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
7:00 PM
Meredith
vs. Lynchburg
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
No Event
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Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
View Full Schedule
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
Final - OT
88 Guilford
82 No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Jan 23
Final
66 Lynchburg
55 at Randolph
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
No Event
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