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Season Outlook

The 2007 Cross Country season will get underway this coming Saturday for the Wheeling Jesuit University Cardinals. The Cardinals will travel to Duquesne University for the annual Duquesne Duals. Action gets underway at 9 a.m. with the women’s 5k followed by the men’s 8k at 9:30 a.m.

With the new season brings promise and a little bit of the unknown. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be very young with only a little bit of experience at the collegiate level. It will be very exciting to see how the season will unfold for the talented young teams. Head coach Ricky Moore, in his first full year as the Head Cross Country/ Track & Field Coach, is excited about the possibilities that lay ahead. “I am very curious and excited to see what this season will bring for both teams,” Moore stated. “The women’s team is really quite talented, and returns a great nucleus from last year. The men’s team is equally as talented, and returns a good core from last season. However both teams will rely on some talented incoming freshmen to help us in a quest for a conference title.”

Leading the way for the women will be Junior Erika Rucker and in coming freshman Sarah Campanelli. Rucker was the WVIAC 1500 meter champion this past spring and looks poised to make a run at the conference individual title. Campanelli was an All-Ohio standout in high school who should make a big splash on the colligate level. Also up front for the Lady Cards will be Senior Emily DeRosa, and Sophomores Kasey Jividen and Julia McGinley. All three women have the ability to be top 15 runners at the conference level. Junior Amanda Reyher and Sophomores Amy Knuth and Alex Marshall round out the Cardinals squad. “I am very encouraged by the women’s team this season, they are a small group but they are very close and they have been working very hard all summer,” Moore stated during preseason. “I think that if we can get our 3,4,5 runners into the top 15 –18 we should be pretty tough to beat at the WVIAC meet.”   

 The men’s side is a little bit more jumbled and hard to sort out.  The top runner coming in to the season is Scott Bonnette. Bonnette was last year’s WVIAC Rookie of the Year and had a great spring track season. However, freshman standout Dustin Hall will also be vying for the top spot. Hall was the WV State 3200 meter champion in the spring and was 4th during the fall cross country season. Like the Lady Cards the men’s team will need the pack to step up and close the gap between them and the two front runners. It will be an interesting year to see exactly who will step up to compete for the top five scoring spots. Vying for those spots will be Senior Steve Dropcho, Junior David Kozusnik, and Sophomores David Bowman, Steven Buck, Matt Ellison, and Brandon Miles. Also looking to break into that group will be freshmen Chad Henson and Jobey Knapton.   According to Moore, “We have a talented young group on the men’s side and most of the returnees are coming off of great spring track seasons. Hopefully the success that they had on the track will carry over to the cross country course.” Moore also stated that, “I would not count the freshmen out either, both of them have been working extremely hard and look to be really fit.”

 


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