Women's Cross Country
MSU Men's and Women's Cross Country Teams Open Season Friday
Aug. 28, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State men's and women's cross country teams open the 2003 season Friday, Aug. 29, at the Saginaw Valley Open hosted by Saginaw Valley State. Also competing will be Lake Superior State, Northwood, Ferris State, Sienna Heights and Lansing Community College. The women's 6K race begins at 4 p.m., while the men's 8K race starts at 4:45 p.m. An open combined men's and women's 6K race begins at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Spartans return its entire team from last season when it finished in 12th place in the NCAA championships.
Seniors Michelle Carson and Jamie Krzyminski lead the pack after finishing first and second, respectively, at last year's Big Ten Championships and earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. Both Carson and Krzyminski also earned All-Great Lakes Regional, Academic All-District First Team and Academic All-Big Ten honors. Carson was MSU's top finisher at the NCAA meet, placing 20th to earn All-American status.
Senior Sarah Pepera, All-Big Ten Second Team honoree, stepped up last season and will lead this weekend's meet along with juniors Natalie Stein, Katie Anderson and Aimee Keenan. "Our team has come back from summer break fit and ready to go," said Coach Stintzi. "Kryzminski and (Michelle) Rafferty will not be running this meet and Carson will run in the non-scoring open race. We are running a big group of women to get a handle on where we stand at this early point in the season."
Michigan State men's team is looking to extensively improve on the last year's 30th-place finish at the NCAA Championships by returning most of last year's squad and adding a few new members.
Junior Chris Toloff was the leading runner for several of MSU's meets last year and is expected to resume that role. Last season, Toloff and senior Andrew Marsh both earned All-Great Lakes Regional honors. Other returning runners from last season are senior Jason Mueller and juniors Steve Sherer and Nathan Usher.
"The men's team will have a bit of a different flavor this meet", said Coach Stintzi."Leading the men will be seniors Jason Mueller and Jeff Mulder.Others to look for are newcomers Ryan Newsted and Matt Bartlebaugh as well as senior Jamie Johnson and sophomores Nathan Egger, Tim Ohara and Nick Oertel."
LAST YEAR'S OPENER: Michigan State opened the 2002 cross country season at the Jeff Drenth Memorial. Former Spartan runner Mike Thorson obtained first place (15:31) at this meet while returning sophomore Brittany Ballard placed fifth (19:45).
ON THE HORIZON: After the Saginaw Valley Open, MSU will be hosting the Spartan Invitational at Forest Akers East Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m.
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