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DePaul Cross Country Announces 2012 Schedule
Senior Zak Koronkiewicz will lead the Blue Demons into the 2012 cross country season.

Senior Zak Koronkiewicz will lead the Blue Demons into the 2012 cross country season.

Aug. 8, 2012

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CHICAGO - The DePaul cross country team's 2012 schedule reflects a change in its approach to building a winning program.

"Last year was all about immersing young athletes into high-end competition," said Blue Demon cross country coach Dave Dopek, who also heads up the track and field program. "This year we're focusing more on the team aspect of the sport."

DePaul will compete in three consecutive meets beginning with the Aug. 31 Early Bird Invitational in west suburban Elmhurst.

That's followed by the Sept. 7 NIU Open in DeKalb, Ill. and the Sept. 14 National Catholic Championship in South Bend, Ind.

"Put an asterisk by the third week of the season when we compete in the National Catholic Championship at Notre Dame," Dopek said. "We'll build up to that event, where we always do well. A lot of parents come out to watch.

"That's when we'll see how the team concept is coming along as we strive to emphasize running with a pack mentality.

"After three meets in a row, we'll take a couple of weeks to evaluate our early performances and learn lessons from those first three meets."

The Blue Demons will return to action Oct. 6 at the Lucian Rosa Invite at Wisconsin-Parkside.

"October is `game time,'" Dopek said. "The Lucian Rosa Invite will reveal what improvements we've made from those first three weeks.

"Then we have the Bradley Classic Oct. 12th in Peoria. After back-to-back meets, we take a week off to get ready for the Big EAST Championships (Oct. 26 in the Bronx, N.Y.).

"All the changes in our schedule are being done for that one event, and we're looking to do well at the conference meet."