Cross Country Launches 2008 Season
CHICAGO The DePaul men’s and women’s cross country teams launch their 2008 campaign on Friday at the DePaul Opener. The meet, at Channel Runne Park in Lincolnwood, Ill., marks the first home cross country meet the Blue Demons have hosted since the 2004 Conference USA Championships. Racing begins at 5:30 p.m. with a 4K women’s run and concludes with a four-mile men’s run.
DePaul welcomes a field of competition that includes squads from Chicago State, Loyola-Chicago, Northwestern, St. Xavier, UIC, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Green Bay.
Head coach Pat Savage, now in his third season, returns eight men and five women from his 2007 squads. The Blue Demons welcome six newcomers to the men’s team and ten to the women’s roster. The incoming freshman class will look for guidance from veterans Luke Rygh and Jakub Kolacz on the men’s side, while juniors Terah Cheatham and sophomores Stephanie Hughes and Mary Cate Quiett lead the women.
With top-runner Claire Duck graduating, the DePaul women look Cheatham, Hughes, and Quiett to add depth to the young roster. All three placed among the Blue Demons’ top five finishers in every race last season. With 6K times of 22:23, 22:39, and 22:51, respectively, they helped their team climb up four spots from the previous season to finish 10th at the BIG EAST Conference Championships.
Men’s captain Rygh and fellow junior Kolacz round out the men’s team. Rygh notched a 10K time of 34:07 at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, while Kolacz paced the Blue Demons with a time of 32:16at the same meet.
The Blue Demons look to repeat last season’s opening success when they claimed team titles on the men’s and women’s side during the UIC Opener. Cheatham, Quitt, and Hughes all finished in the top ten, while Rygh finished third in the men’s race. Kolacz placed 16th in a field of 63 individuals.
The DePaul Opener is the first of five regular season meets building up to the 2008 BIG EAST Championships in Bronx, New York.