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Lady Tiger Cross Country Team To Open Season At Western Carolina

Lady Tiger Cross Country Team To Open Season At Western Carolina

Aug. 29, 2002

The 2002 Clemson women’s cross country team enters the season with a unique blend of youth and depth. The Lady Tigers return seven runners from last year’s squad, and welcome eight new harriers. Fellow sophomores Laura Ann Rukat are expected to lead the team, while freshmen Casey Phillips, Jennifer Barton and Jennifer Hooten are billed as the top newcomers.

Juniors Evan Ross and Shannon Day complete the returning roster. Freshmen Barton, Hooten and Phillips, along with sophomores Rebecca White and Erica Jaros enter their first season of cross country. This year’s team will also feature three rookie cross country runners in seniors Keshia Haughton and Lauren Nicholson, as well as freshman Angela Thomas. That trio of quarter-milers will help complete the concept of incorporating a total team.

Assistant track and field and cross country coach AuDrey Branch’s goals for this year’s team are two-fold. “Our main goal is to finish better at the ACC Championships this season than we did last year. We are building on what we started last season,” said Branch. “We have a young team, and we are concentrating on helping them be successful as individuals by concentrating on their times and helping them to run faster than before. This is the largest cross county squad we have had, and another one of our goals is to look for them to develop as a team and learn to function as a group.”

The Lady Tigers will open their season on Aug. 31 at the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, NC. On Sept. 7, Clemson will compete at the Catamount Classic, in which Branch expects a solid performance after a month of practice and time to gel as a team. The Lady Tigers travel to Athens, GA, on Sept. 14 for the Georgia Bulldog Stampede, then compete at the Great American Cross Country Festival on Sept. 27-28.

Clemson returns home to play host to the Clemson Invitational and SC State Collegiate meet on Oct. 5, then competes at the Furman Invitational on Oct. 12. The Lady Tigers conclude their regular season on Nov. 2 at the ACC Championships, and then travel to Greenville, SC, on Nov. 16 to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regionals. The 2002 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be held on Nov. 25 in Terre Haute, IN.

In 2001 at the Western Carolina Invitational…Clemson finished third overall. The Lady Tigers were led by Renee Keydoszius who placed fourth individually, as well as Laura Ann Rukat who placed 20th.