UWF Cross Country Prepares for Opening Meet in North Carolina

first_img Aug. 28, 2007PENSACOLA, Fla. – On Saturday, August 31, the Argo Cross Country teams will run in the ASU Covered Bridge Invitational in Boone, North Carolina. Last Year the Argos men’s and women’s Cross Country teams competed in the Appalachian State Invitational meet and finished 5th in the men’s meet and 7th in the women’s meet. However, they were the top finishing Division II school in the meet. Coach Matt Dobson is fielding a young team, but still expects to do better than last year, despite some key injuries to top runners, and the loss of All-American Michael Padilla to graduation. Padilla placed first individually in the ASU meet last year against some top-notch Division I athletes.This is a great early season test for the 2007 teams, especially those that will be competing in their first collegiate meet. Many young runners will be counted on as the Argos may be somewhat shorthanded. On the Men’s team, potential number one runner Brian Gowin (Jr. / Pensacola, Fla.), and number two runner Jordan Theuerkauf (So. / Wausau Wisc.), will not be able to make the trip. Theuerkauf, with a hip injury may miss more than the first meet. Meanwhile, for the women’s team, potential number two runner Maria DeFeo (Fr. / Orange Park, Fla.) will miss the first meet also with an injury (possible stress fracture) that could be more long term. However, Coach Dobson is very optimistic about the opening meet. “It’s primarily a D-1 meet, but we want to do well, and should be able to top last year’s performance.”Both squads are young, and the Freshmen will be called upon to help the teams’ performances, and they need racing experience. The men’s squad has four Freshmen that could be in the top six runners, while the women’s team has two Freshmen likely to be in the top 4 runners for the team.Diana Sitar (Sr. / Las Vegas, Nev.) should anchor the women’s squad as the number one runner, with DeFeo, Kelli Midden (Fr. / Boca Raton, Fla.), and Katherine Ragia (Jr. / Daytona Beach, Fla.) strong contenders for the number two spot. For the men, the top spot is likely Gowin, with Theuerkauf and Nicholas Maedel (Fr. / Ridgeview, Fla.) potentially two and three. Jared Black (Fr. / Tallahassee, Fla.), Reynolds Griner (Fr. / Tallahassee, Fla.), and Andrew Maedel (Fr. / Ridgeview, Fla.) round out a very young but talented top six.Coach Dobson feels that the pre-season training has been real good, “we are very fit and ready to compete.” He explained that the overall plan, “is to improve each week and peak for the post-season. We will approach all meets the same until conference.” Speaking of the GSC, Coach Dobson indicates that the Argos will likely battle with Harding for the conference Championship, and if they stay healthy the Argos will have a great chance for both the conference titles and a trip to the National meet.Part of the preseason was a charity relay run from `Jay to the Bay’ to help benefit the North Florida Arthritis Foundation. The athletes raised more money than their goal, and got a great workout in the process. The great success of the event shows the work ethic of the young Argo runners. Meanwhile, Coach Dobson, a 2:21 Marathoner, jumped in to inspire his young runners and ran 20 miles with the team as they traded off legs. If Dobson’s training mentality is picked up by the young team, they have a great future.The Argos will host the Gulf Coast Cross Country Stampede on September 29th. This meet will be at the Escambia County Equestrian Center. Then, on October 20th, UWF will host the Gulf South Conference Championships, to be held on the UWF Campus. Print Friendly Version UWF Cross Country Prepares for Opening Meet in North Carolina Sharelast_img

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