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2004-05 Women's Cross Country Season Preview
Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2004
The UW-Eau Claire women's cross country team and head coach Tracy Yengo will look to improve on last season's fourth place finish at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a group of returning runners looking to make the Blugolds a force in the WIAC.
Last season the Blugolds finished in the top three in five of their nine meets as a team. The team finished in eighth place at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional, with three WIAC schools finishing ahead of Eau Claire. This season the Blugolds will look give Stevens Point, Oshkosh and La Crosse a run for their money in the WIAC.
Heading the list of the returning runners is Korah Petrasko (So.-Appleton/East), who finished in the top four places on the Blugolds in all seven meets she participated in last season. Petrasko took the top Blugold time and eighth place overall at the Big Dawg Invitational in Stevens Point last October.
Also returning are upper classmen Rachel Anderson (Jr.-St. Paul, MN/Harding) and Heather Lipinski (Sr.-Thorp). Anderson competed in seven meets last season, finishing in the top five on the Blugold team in five different meets, including three, top-three finishes on the team. She led the team and finished third overall at the Lake Wissota Invitational last season.
Lipinski brings plenty of experience to the Blugold team as she has already earned three letters in cross country and returns for her final season. Lipinski finished second on the Blugold team in the 6k Midwest Long and Short Course Challenge last season and never finished worse than seventh on the team in all eight meets in which she competed.
Jane-Marie Ovanin (Jr.-Amherst) returns to the team after missing all of last season with an injury. Ovanin ran in the NCAA Division III National Championships in 2001 after finishing 12th at the Midwest Regional. She will look to make a strong comeback and make her way back to national competition.
The 2004 Blugolds will look to the upper classmen to lead a squad of relatively inexperienced runners. The team has nine freshmen on board and a total of 17 under classmen. The blend of youth and experience could be the perfect mix for coach Yengo and her 2004 Blugold squad.
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