FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Coming off
of a two-week break, the Northern Arizona cross country teams hit
the road as they take part in two meets this weekend. The squad
will split up, as half of the team will go down to compete in the
ASU Invitational in Tempe on Friday, while the others head to
Stillwater, Okla., to race in the Cowboy Jamboree Saturday.
“For the ASU Invitational, we will be sending some girls down there to race as individuals since we won’t have enough to field a team,” said Interim Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Eric Heins. “It is a nice option for us to be able to send them down there. We will have five guys who will field a team for that race and essentially be our ‘B squad’ for the weekend.”
Representing NAU at the ASU Invitational on the women’s side will be sophomores Gabi Longoria-Barillas and Lisette Michaels, freshman Lyndsey Rakestraw and junior Amanda Griggs. The five runners fielding the men’s team will consist of seniors Dan Lanzilotti and Simon Gilna, junior Kam Holbrook and freshmen Joe Withers and Darius Terry.
For those headed to Oklahoma, Heins feels that the Cowboy Jamboree is one race that is a good barometer to see how strong your team is at this point in the season.
“I believe that in order to compete against the best, you have to run against the best,” said Heins. “It is going to be a loaded field this weekend, which I think is good for us to go and see some really good competition after training hard for these past couple of weeks. It will be a good test for both of the men’s and women’s teams.”
Hitting the course Saturday morning in Stillwater for the men will be juniors Ben Ashkettle, Jason Pedersen and Jordan Chipangama, sophomores Andrew Belus, Diego Estrada and Ahmed Osman and freshman Tim Freriks. This will be Ashkettle’s first race of his junior campaign.
Trying to defend their title from last year, the women’s team will consist of seniors Veronica Pohl and Nell Rojas, junior Astrid Leutert, sophomores Kortnee Burton, Eliza Gawryluk and Haley Lawrence and freshman Torin Shriver.
Last year in Stillwater, the women came away with the title and the men claimed second place. Pohl finished the women’s race fourth overall, and Leutert, Rojas and Lawrence all finished in the top 20.
The competition in Saturday’s races will be fierce, as the men will go up against second-ranked Oklahoma State, No. 13 William and Mary and Adams State, the top-ranked Division II program. While the competition for the women won’t be quite as strong, the Lumberjacks will still be competing against some of the top programs in the Midwest.
February 1, 2010 Nine Cross Country Athletes Named All-Academic Big Sky
December 4, 2009 Heins Named Big Sky Coach of the Year
November 23, 2009 McNeill Finishes Runner Up; Lumberjacks Claim Fourth Place
November 20, 2009 Lumberjacks to Compete at Cross Country Championships Monday
November 18, 2009 McNeill Named Mountain Region Athlete of the Year
November 17, 2009 Lumberjacks Slip in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
November 15, 2009 Mens Team Receives At-Large Bid to NCAA Championships
November 14, 2009 McNeill Repeats; Men Finish Fourth, Women Seventh at Mountain Regional
November 12, 2009 Cross Country to Race at NCAA Mountain Regional in Albuquerque
November 3, 2009 Mens Team Climbs to No. 4 in Latest USTFCCCA Rankings
October 31, 2009 Lumberjacks Sweep Big Sky Cross Country Championships
October 30, 2009 Big Sky Conference Championship Start Time Pushed Back
October 28, 2009 Cross Country to Run in Big Sky Championships Saturday
October 20, 2009 Chipangama, Pohl Named Big Sky Cross Country Athletes of the Week
October 20, 2009 Lumberjacks Drop in Latest USTFCCCA Polls
October 17, 2009 Cross Country Teams Turn in Solid Efforts at Pre-Nationals
October 16, 2009 'Jack of All Trades by Amy Farnum of NCAA.com
October 15, 2009 Watch The Lumberjacks Compete Live at Pre-Nationals Saturday
October 14, 2009 Lumberjacks Gear Up for Pre-Nationals Invitational
October 6, 2009 Lumberjacks Move Up in USTFCCCA Rankings
October 5, 2009 Cowboy Jamboree Highlights and Interviews
October 3, 2009 Chipangama Leads Lumberjacks to Cowboy Jamboree Men's Title
September 30, 2009 Cross Country to Compete in ASU Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree
September 29, 2009 Lumberjacks Stand Firm in USTFCCCA Rankings
September 22, 2009 Pohl Named Big Sky Conference Womens Cross Country Athlete of the Week
September 19, 2009 Pohl, Chipangama Lead Lumberjacks to Titles at Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Lumberjacks Head West for Aztec Invitational
September 15, 2009 Cross Country Teams in Preseason USTFCCCA Rankings
September 8, 2009 Pohl Claims First Women's Cross Country Athlete of The Week Award
September 5, 2009 Lumberjacks Capture Rain-Soaked George Kyte Classic Titles
September 1, 2009 Cross Country to Host George Kyte Classic Saturday
August 24, 2009 2009 Cross Country Season Preview
August 19, 2009 George Kyte Classic Registration Information
August 17, 2009 McNeill Finishes 24th at World Championships; Lomong Advances
August 14, 2009 Lomong and McNeill to Compete in IAAF World Championships