The Paw Print
The Adams State women’s cross country team starts off this season ranked No.1 in the nation according to the USTFCCCA Preseason Poll. The defending National Champions return four of their top seven runners from last season.
Sophomore Alicia Nelson, who finished as the Grizzlies first runner and ninth overall at the national meet last fall, is the top returner for the team this year. Nelson, now a four time All-American, who also won the outdoor track national title in the steeplechase in a record time of 10:11.48, noted how excited she is about this year. “I am ready to see the team place well at all meets, but at Adams State, we are measured by how we do at the National Championship and I know we have a great team this year.”
Returning All-Americans, Kristen McGlynn and Ashley Quintana, who finished twenty-fourth and twentieth respectfully at cross country nationals last fall, have worked hard over the summer and are ready to make even a greater impact at the national level. Addison LeMaster is also a top returner for the Grizzlies.
Looking to make an impact for the Grizzlies this fall, are several other athletes comprised of returners, new freshman recruits, as well as a transfer student.
The returners are Cassie Mitchell and Lindsey Grasmick. Mitchell just missed making the top seven by one spot a year ago. Grasmick, an All-American sprinter, has joined the team and is focusing her training to try to make the team.
New recruits who hope to have success as Grizzlies include Lauren Martin from Alamosa High School, Tayler Warren from Evergreen High School, Jesse Brunette from Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, Kelly Lamb from Creede High School, and Emalie Barnett from Riverside High School. All of these freshmen have strong resumes and include state champions and multiple state-qualifiers.
Sarah Lange is a transfer from Middlebury in Vermont, who ran at the Division III National Meet for the Panthers as a freshman last year.
When asked about the challenges the team faces this year, Nelson said, “I think keeping a close team and good atmosphere are the keys. When we overcome these challenges we will get where we want to be. We have set some high goals and standards that we all need to keep in mind in order achieve our potential.”
“I am excited to see the team grow and get closer as the season progresses. Solidifying all seven spots will help the team to achieve everything that we have set as goals this year,” said fifth-year senior Ashley Quintana.
Three time All-American, Cassie Mitchell, also a senior for the Grizzlies said, “I want to be a part of the top five this coming year. I know that if I run that well, I can help the team reach its goals. I am excited for the positive energy that the team has this year. Its really motivating for everyone.”
The ASC women’s team also received the USTFCCCA Division II Scholar Athletes of the year. The team is required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better as well as be the top finishing team at the national meet. The Grizzlies easily won the award by having a GPA of 3.38 and winning the National Title in 2009.
The women harriers start the season on September 11 with the seventeenth annual Joe I. Vigil Meet at Cattails Golf Course. Coach Martin has decided to start the season a little later than usual due to the national meet being moved back two week to be a part of the Fall Sports Festival. The 2010 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held on December 4 in Louisville, Kentucky, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park. The women are looking to win their eighth consecutive, sixteenth NCAA, and nineteenth overall National Championship.