Cross Country Begins 2015 Season Today
Sept. 4, 2015
Schedule | Men's & Women's Roster
It’s another hopeful season for the Blue & Gold as both teams feature several top returners and quality depth with the goal of rising up the ever-competitive BIG EAST Conference and representing well at the Great Lakes Regional Championships.
The women’s team, which finished fifth at the BIG EAST Championships and 12th at the Great Lakes Regional in 2014 and debuted 11th in the 2015 Great Lakes Regional Preseason Poll, will be led by five of their top-six finishers from a year ago. The one not expected back is last year’s top performer junior Kellie Greenwood, who sustained a leg injury during the BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships last May.
“We have a strong nucleus of women returning,” head coach Mike Nelson said. “Even though we lose Kellie, those we have returning should be better, while others are poised for breakout seasons. We have some women who set records this past year on the track and others returning from injury ready to compete. I think we’re going to be a solid team again this year.”
Junior Brittney Feivor, who ran in just three races a season ago, but was consistently in the top-three, will serve as the team’s captain in 2015.
She is coming off a strong track season that saw her go back-and-forth with Greenwood in what developed into a friendly rivalry in the 5,000 meters during the 2015 outdoor campaign. Feivor’s time of 16:32.93 at the Drake Relays broke the school record set by Greenwood, who shattered a seven-year-old mark just one week prior.
And the DMR team, which both Parker sisters also ran, set the sixth-best mark in school history at the Drake Relays.
Nelson sees the success during the 2015 track season as momentum heading into this cross country year, in addition to the team’s depth, which could play a deciding factor in the team’s overall success.
Also serving as one of the program’s top returners will be the Parker twins, who return as sophomores in 2015. Jennifer, who finished second on the team and 23rd overall at the BIG EAST Championships, along with Jessica, who was fifth on the squad and 37th at BIG EAST, are looking to take that next step forward.
Kayla Spencer was consistently the team’s No. 2 runner throughout last season and is back for her senior campaign looking to emerge as a leader behind Feivor. Mariah Frank will enter her junior season trying to improve after being a consistent top-six runner for the Golden Eagles in 2014.
Others looking to make major impacts, following injury-ridden seasons in 2014, include redshirt sophomores Abigail Busse and Maggie O’Loughlin.
Nelson’s freshman class includes the likes of Hannah Gorin, Nora Keller and Isabel Lopez. Keller, a native of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is coming off a state championship for Lourdes Academy and could make an impact from the start.
On the men’s side, it’s a similar make-up. The team returns a host of top-seven performers from last year, including Alec Miller, who was team’s top runner three out of six races and placed second on the team and 41st overall at the BIG EAST Championships. Although only a sophomore, he will serve as team captain in 2015.
As a whole, the team finished sixth at the BIG EAST Championships and 18th out of 30 teams at the Great Lakes Regional.
In addition to Alec Miller, the Golden Eagles - for much of last season - were paced by the likes of senior William Hennessy, junior Nate Gomoll and sophomores Jack Carpenter, Aric Miller and Kevin Ryan.
“Last year, we did have injuries to some key guys that I think held us back just a little bit,” Nelson said. “But their health this year, combined with the addition of last season’s redshirts, should greatly strengthen our team.”
“At times (Cody) has looked like a No. 1 guy,” Nelson said of Haberkorn. “He redshirted last season and is ready to have a great year.
“There are several guys here that are ready to have a breakout season,” Nelson added. “Whether it was an injury or an illness that has maybe held them back either last year or the year before, I think they’re ready to have their best cross country season ever. The fact we have so many of those guys, bodes well for our cross country season.”
The Golden Eagles begin the year today, Sept. 4 at the Badger Classic, which will serve as the first of six regular-season meets, including the BIG EAST Championships set for Oct. 31 in Mason, Ohio. Today’s season opener will also be the first of two races at the Zimmer Cross Country Course in Verona as the team will return for the NCAA Greats Lakes Regional on Nov. 13.
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