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Aztec Invite Awaits Cross Country This Weekend

Aztec Invite Awaits Cross Country This Weekend

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona cross country teams return to action this weekend as they head down to San Diego, Calif., to race in the Aztec Invite hosted by San Diego State. The women's race gets underway from Balboa Park at 8:45 a.m. PDT., with the men following at 9:30.

The trek to San Diego isn't all about the race for the Lumberjacks, it is also a chance for some team bonding as the entire team, including nine natives of Calif., will head to the Golden State.

"This meet is a chance for the entire team to get together on a trip since we haven't been able to do a preseason camp the last few years," Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins said. "It's a chance for them to spend time with each other in tight quarters, as well as head to the beach. I think this trip helps the freshman because it is a chance for them to know their teammates better, as well as finding out who the leaders are on the team."

Last year both squads won the team championships behind the efforts of first-place finishers Veronica Pohl and Jordan Chipangama, and will look to repeat those performances from a season ago.

The projected men's line up will feature two seniors making their season debuts in Kam Holbrook and Eric Lynch. The duo last year finished 10th and 12th, respectively. Junior Myles Kloer and freshman Bahlbi Gebreyohanns will also suit up for the Lumberjacks for the first time this year. Junior Joe Withers, who finished eighth a year ago, and freshman Daniel Filipcik will hit the course Saturday for the team.

The women's team will run the same lineup as the George Kyte Classic race with senior Danielle Hunt, junior Lisette Michaels, sophomores Alex Meyers and Lyndsey Rakestraw and freshmen Alexa Kearns and Sarah Raber. Two more freshmen, Emily Bartz and Carissa Gwerder, will suit up for the team come Saturday and make their collegiate debuts.

DID YOU KNOW…In the final Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, the Lumberjacks were the top-ranked team in the Big Sky Conference, while ranking eighth among schools in the Football Championship Subdivision. NAU also finished ahead of seven Bowl Championship Subdivision teams including Washington State (Pac-10), North Carolina State (ACC), Rutgers (Big East), Pittsburgh (Big East), Mississippi State (SEC), Cincinnati (Big East) and Kansas State (Big 12).