BOONE, N.C. (Sept. 2, 2010) - After training hard all summer, the ETSU men's and women's cross country teams are set to gear up for its season opener as the Buccaneers compete in the 2010 Covered Bridge Open Friday evening in Boone, N.C.
The meet, which will be held at the Don Kennedy Trails on ASU's State Farm complex, will begin with the women's 5000m race at 5 p.m. At the conclusion of the women's event, the men will run a 6400m race at 5:45 p.m.
The Buccaneer men's squad was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Sun Preseason Coaches Poll (behind Kennesaw State and USC Upstate), and ETSU will be led by senior all-conference and all-region runner Ben Ronoh (Sotik, Kenya). Ronoh has some big shoes to fill being ETSU's number one runner as he replaces two-time defending A-Sun Runner of the Year and seven-time A-Sun Athlete of the Week Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya). Rotich graduated from ETSU last May and Ronoh looks to take over the reigns from his cousin in his final cross country season with the Bucs.
Joining Ronoh on the men's side are letterwinners Manny Gonzalez (Maryville, Tenn.), Zack Berry (Knoxville, Tenn), Ryan Jones (Apopka, Fla.) and Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas). Gonzalez carries the most collegiate experience in this group as the 2010 season marks his fourth year with the Bucs; while Milhorn and Jones enter their second season under the watch of head coach David Walker.
Meanwhile, the women's side will see a load of fresh faces as the lone returner from 2009 is senior Caitlyn Epps (Cookeville, Tenn.). Epps, who made the move from soccer to cross country last fall, led the Lady Bucs across the finish line in three of the four races a season ago.
Coach Walker and assistant coach Josiah Leuenberger did a tremendous job bringing in newcomers on the women's side as Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.), Kayla Kuziola (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Jennifer Brown (Bearden, Tenn.) all look to make an impact as the season progresses.
For a full recap of events at the Covered Bridge Open, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.