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Cross Country Takes on New Look

August 23, 2005

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Evergreen's men's and women's cross-country teams were tabbed by conference coaches to finish seventh and eighth in the ten team Cascade Collegiate Conference this fall, but it may be too early to tell what the Geoduck runners are capable of this fall. The women's team returns only three runners from last year's squad, but six new additions bring a lot of hope.

The key loss from '04 was graduate Megan Mower. Mower was Evergreen's top female runner last season and finished ?? the conference meet. Christina Cornett, Liesl Plomski and Rachel Williams return to the team giving coach Craig Dickson a good core to build around. Williams looks to be the number one runner coming off of an excellent first ever track season setting personal bests and top three Evergreen times in three different events. Liesl Plomski, had a solid '04 and has the potential to keep pace with Williams.

After competing in cross country in high school, newcomer Amanda Kirklin skipped a year of running to focus basketball at Evergreen. But the sophomore will compete in both sports the '05-06 school year. Kirkland graduated from Hazen High School and competed in the Washington State Cross Country Championships with her team. Frosh Cayenne MacKillop of Champlain Valley Union HS in Vermont competed on a State Championship winning cross country team as well as her school's cross country ski team. Other freshman include Amanda Ball of Albuquerque, NM (Menaul High School) and Haley Pecora of Portsmouth, NH (Portsmouth HS) who both competed on their high school teams.

The men's cross country team will again be led by 2004 All-Conference/NAIA Scholar All-American Josh Klimek. Klimek will be a senior and hopes to again qualify for Nationals and improve on his performance. But Klimek won't be running alone in 2005. The Geoducks have a strong core of returning runners and a number of new additions who will challenge for scoring sport.

Miguel Pineda of Tumwater High School will have his first season of eligibility after redshirting '04 and will be a strong front runner for the Geoducks. Returner Kyle Skaggs will again be one of Evergreen's most consistent runners. Skaggs was the team's number three runner in '04 and will be a key to the team's scoring this season. Jason McConnell was a top-five team member in '04 in his first year and is looking stronger for '05. Patrick Murphy has improved in leaps and bounds from his frosh year and may challenge for a top-5 spot. Key loss will be James Hudson, a would-be sophomore who is taking a break from school in '05-'06.

Newcomer Joel Pearson transferred from Central Washington University (Ferndale HS) in the spring and competed for Evergreen in track. He should contend for a top 3 spot on the team. Tyler Gimenez transferred from Willamette University (Black Hills HS) with a strong cross country and track and field background. He has yet to compete in a college cross country season but was all-conference in track for Willamette in '03. Second-year Evergreen student Brian Torian will walk-on this year and has shown he will be a strong runner for the Geoducks.