BOONE, N.C. (Sept. 1, 2011) – The ETSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will kick off their season this Friday evening when the Bucs compete in the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C.
The race, which will be contested on the ASU State Farm Fields, begins with the women’s 5K at 5 p.m. Following the women, the men will run an 8K course beginning at 5:45 p.m.
The terrain consists of grass and gravel, along with some asphalt at a couple of the crossings. In addition, the runners will go over two bridges with wood floors, which will be crossed twice during the race.
For a complete listing of results, visit ETSUBucs.com or bigkahunatiming.com.
Below is a brief capsule of the men’s and women’s cross country teams.
ETSU Men’s Cross Country Info
2010 A-Sun Finish: Sixth (11 teams)
Top Individual Finisher at A-Sun Meet: Ben Ronoh (Fourth, First Team All-Atlantic Sun performer)
Top Returning Finisher from A-Sun Meet: Landon Milhorn (22nd)
Runners lost (3) – Ben Ronoh, Christian Brewer, Josh Turan
Runners returning (4) – Landon Milhorn, Desmond Pierce, Sean Duffy, and Ryan Jones
Newcomers (3) – Adam Chase – Kingsport, Tenn. (Dobyns Bennett HS)
– Filip Jalovy – Modrice, Czech Republic (Moravske Gymnasium)
– Anders Ludvigsen – Odenga, Denmark (Hawaii Pacific University)
Brief Outlook: After being led by senior leaders Kenneth Rotich (2009) and Ben Ronoh (2010) over the last two seasons, the 2011 Bucs will be in search of a number one front runner. According to head coach Dave Walker, he hopes two newcomers help pave the road for the Blue and Gold as Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic ) and Anders Ludvigsen (Odenga, Denmark) look to take the reins near the top and make the runners stronger at the three through five positions. The Bucs return some experienced runners at the number three spot as junior Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas) carries the most familiarity of the group; while Desmond Pierce (Morristown, Tenn.) and Sean Duffy (Jonesborough, Tenn.) return for a sophomore season in hopes their first year of Division I running guides them to higher limits this fall.
ETSU Women’s Cross Country Info
2010 A-Sun Finish: Tenth (11 teams)
Top Individual Finisher at A-Sun Meet: Caitlyn Epps (22nd)
Top Returning Finisher from A-Sun Meet: Caitlyn Epps (22nd)
Runners lost (1) – Kayla Kuziola
Runners returning (6) – Caitlyn Epps, Chelsea Clark, Ashley Powell, Amanda Caudle, Jennifer Brown, Lindsay Evans
Newcomers (3) – Isabelle Grosskopff – Telgte, Germany – Pascal Gymnasium
– Melissa Peters – Mesa, Ariz. – Mesa CC
– Saide Yinger – Knoxville, Tenn. – Hardin Valley HS
Brief Outlook: The 2011 women’s cross country team has a great mix of youth and veterans as coach Walker is hoping the recipe helps turn the Bucs from a tenth place finish in 2010 to a middle of the pack team this upcoming fall. Senior Caitlyn Epps (Cookeville, Tenn.) – who carried the Bucs across the finish line in all five meets a year ago – returns for her final season in 2011. Joining Epps up top are newcomers Isabelle Grosskopff (Telgte, Germany) and junior college transfer Melissa Peters (Mesa, Ariz.). Coach Walker thinks these two Buccaneer runners will help contend for the top three spots on the team, while returner/sophomore Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) is eyeing a breakout season in year two. The talent and numbers are much stronger from the previous years, and Walker is looking for this group to start laying the foundation for the years to come in ETSU women’s cross country.
Men’s and Women’s Schedule Breakdown: The Bucs will compete in at least four meets prior to competing for their first A-Sun title since the men winning the crown in 2009. ETSU begins its season at the Covered Bridge Open this weekend, while returning back to Boone two weeks later to run in the Mountaineer Open on Sept. 16. The first weekend of October sends the Blue and Gold to Louisville to race the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic and a third trip to Boone is in store for the Bucs on October 14 when coach Walker’s crew competes in the Blue Ridge Open. A second option is in the mix the same weekend as a NCAA National Preview meet is scheduled for October 16 in Terre Haute, Ind. After the start of the calendar month sends ETSU to Louisville, the end of October will crown the conference champion as the A-Sun Championships return to Nashville for the first time since 2007. Following the A-Sun Championships, the NCAA Regional will be contested on November 12 in Tuscaloosa, while the National Championships will be raced on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute.
For more information on Buccaneer cross country, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.