Aug. 30, 2000
By Brian Alessandro, NKU Sports Information Assistant
NKU RUNNERS SEEK IMPROVEMENT IN 2000
Norse begin at Bellarmine Invitational this Saturday
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University cross country head coach Steve Kruse hopes an outstanding recruiting class combined with a group of experienced runners will add up to a much-improved men's team this fall.
This is the biggest team (by numbers) we have had in a long time and one of the best, said Kruse, who is entering his seventh year at NKU. The guys train extremely hard, and its good to showcase local talent.
The Norse mens team features returning lettermen Brian Alessandro, Kevin Alessandro, Ryan Carskadon, and Joe Zeinner. All were among the top five runners on last years squad. Also back from last years team are senior D.J. Carter and sophomore Wes Staff.
Newcomers Pat Sullivan and Morehead State University transfer Chris Lenhof will add strength and depth to the program. The Norse have also added three more runners - Mike Huber, David Coleman from Cumberland College, and Brandon Hall from Morehead State.
NKU will open up at the Bellarmine Invitational on Sept. 2. The NKU men captured the Bellarmine meet a year ago, and the Norse are hoping to defend that title this weekend.
The Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships will be hosted by the University of Southern Indiana this season on Oct. 21 at Evansville.
The Norse posted an eighth-place finish at the GLVC Championships last season, running against some of the nations best NCAA Division II cross country runners.
For the women, injuries and graduation will force the team to compete without the top four runners from last fall. The freshmen class and a transfer will provide depth.
Freshmen Anna Moore, Lissa Faulkner and Maribeth Spratt, along with University of Kentucky transfer Elaine Koenig, are newcomers who will be keys to the season.
Veteran runners such as seniors Kristen Zink, Sasha Parker and Toni DeJaco, junior Erin Schmidt, sophomores Emily Sand, Jen Wertz and Theresa Adams will also be important to the team's success.
Its a shame that some of our women were unfortunately injured in the off-season, however, you have no control over those types of things and have to do your best and work through it, said Kruse. It should be an interesting season for both the mens and womens teams. We are all anxious to start.
The women posted a seventh-pace finish at the GLVC Championships last season and will look to improve on that mark in 2000.
Both teams will compete in the Bellarmine Invitational, Hanover Invitational and Wilmington Invitational during the first three weeks of September.
The Norse then travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Walt Disney World Invitational, and later participate in a quad meet against Eastern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville at Richmond, Ky.