CROSS COUNTRY: Lutes Open Season at Saint Martins Invitational
THIS WEEK: PLU opens its 2009 cross country season at the Saint Martin's Invitational in Lacey, Wash. The women's race starts at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's race.
WOMEN'S NOTES: The PLU women finished eighth in the Northwest Conference last year, but this year's team has a group of outstanding newcomers to go along with a handful of experienced runners. Among the top veterans are sophomore Erica Johnson, one of PLU's top runners throughout the 2008 season, and junior Mary Wuest. Also look for Rebekah Blakney and Candace Attwood to be among the top runners. The newcomers list is solid with Suzy Olsen, Katie Gebert, Kayley Turner, Sarah McDade and Chiara Rose-Witt among those that will compete for a spot in the top seven this year. How quickly this group of young runners makes the adjustment to the 6000-meter college distance will be a measuring stick to the Lutes' success this season.
MEN'S NOTES: The men's team returns most of the top runners from last year's team that placed seventh at conference. Junior John Phillips was the Lutes' front runner throughout the 2008 campaign. He was PLU's top finisher in the conference meet, placing 15th, and he also represented the black-and-gold at the regional meet where he placed 41st. Other top returnees are a large handful of sophomores - Sean Andrascik, Orion Bras, Alex Martin, Austin Martin, Justin Barth and Eliazer Reyes. The team's depth will be bolstered by the addition of several PLU track & field athletes including Colin Alexander, Barrett Bollen and Ryan Nupen. The top freshman runner figures to be Kolter Grigsby.
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