JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2007) - Another year is upon us and the ETSU men's and women's cross county program is set to open its 2007 schedule this weekend, as the men travel to Blacksburg, Va., while the women compete at the Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K in nearby Elizabethton.
Head coach David Walker's men kicks things off Saturday morning at the Virginia Tech Invitational, which acts as a little tune up before next weekends Winthrop/Asics Invitational. The course in
After a rigorous start to the season the Bucs will take the first weekend of October off, before traveling to an old SoCon stopping ground on Saturday, Oct. 13, when ETSU partakes in the Furman Invitational. Following another off week, ETSU will put everything on the line as they look to end
"If our top four guys can stay healthy during the entire season, we will be able to battle Belmont and Kennesaw for the top spot at the conference championships," said
One of the top runners includes junior Michael Deren (
"Deren has the rights to the number slot based on his results from last season, but he needs to continue to improve, as everyone is coming after him for that top spot," added
The trio of J Penny (
The 2007 ETSU women's cross country program will be led by a youth movement, as its roster contains a senior, three sophomores, and three freshmen. For the second straight season head coach Michelle Byrne's squad will be led by the Scottish sensation Vicki Currie (
"Currie has trained well this summer and will lead the Bucs up front," said Byrne. "She is more confident this season and has settled in nicely after adjusting as a freshman last season. She enters the year focused and has all the talent to become an all-conference runner."
The women kick things open with the Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K this Sunday in nearby Elizabethton. Following the Irish Brigade, ETSU will travel to the UT Invitational in
Although the ETSU women were selected ninth in the A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll, Byrne is counting on their hard work, enthusiasm and learning experiences to pay off when the conference championship rolls around at the end of October.
"Our girls have been working hard and they are all excited for the season to begin," commented Byrne. "They are a fun group to be around and are full of positive energy. We hope that can carry over later in the season when we need it most."
Sophomore Christin Zink (
Rounding out the group of runners on coach Byrne's squad include freshman Rochelle Crook (Cookeville, Tenn.), as well as a combo of Steve Brooks' tennis girls in Elena Volobueva (Barcelona, Spain) and Yevgeniya Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine).
The men's 6K race beings at 9 a.m. Saturday in