From Staff Reports
The Clayton State University men's and women's cross country teams, coming off second and third place Peach Belt Conference finishes, respectively in 2004 have released their schedules for the upcoming season.
The men's team will open the year at the Mercer Invitational on Saturday, September 10th, while the women's squad will open its season at the Alabama-Huntsville Cross Country Invitational in Huntsville, AL.
Both teams will run at the Wingate Invitational on Saturday, September 17th with the men's team defending its team title from last year's meet.
Sophomore Allison Kreutzer brought home the individual women's title at the meet. After Wingate, Clayton State will again split squads with the men's team, going to the Pre-NCAA South Region meet, hosted by Florida Southern College, in Dade City, FL on Friday, September 30th.
The Laker women will run the following day at the Georgia Collegiate Championships in Macon where Kreutzer will defend her individual title in the women's race.
Clayton State's women's and men's squads will close out the regular season on Saturday, October 8th for the Furman Invitational in Greenville, S.C.
The women's and men's teams finished ninth and 10th, respectively in the meet last year that featured mostly NCAA Division I teams.
Kreutzer had the top finish for both teams in the meet, winning the women's race. The 2005 Peach Belt Conference Championships are slated for Saturday, October 22nd in Lumberton, NC, hosted the University of North Carolina Pembroke.
Both the men's and women's teams will be contenders for the Peach Belt Conference crowns, as the two perennial PBC favorites, Kennesaw State University and the North Florida University have moved up to NCAA Division I.
Both teams will compete in the NCAA South Regional meet on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Dade City, FL, with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Division II Cross County Championships on Sat., November 19th in Chino, CA. Expectations are high for both the men's and women's teams in 2005, as both teams return its top runners from last year. The men's team will return its top two runners in All-Peach Belt Conference runner Manuel Aguilar and 10K record holder Jose Garduno, while the women's team will return All-America, Peach Belt Conference Runner and Freshman of the Year Kreutzer, along with two-time All-Peach Belt runner Heather Krehbiel. Aguilar posted the eighth fastest time, 26:10.0, in school history last year at the Peach Belt Conference meet, while Garduno broke the school record in the 10K with a time of 33:00.0 at the NCAA South Region Championships last year. Kreutzer will lead the women's squad after finishing second last year at the NCAA Division II National Championships. She won four races last year and set the school record in the 5K at the Peach Belt last year with a time of 17:24.0. She also set the school mark in the 6K at the NCAA South Region meet with a time of 21:08.0. Krehbiel returns for her senior year after an injury-plagued season last year. Behind Kreutzer's four best times, Krehbiel has the fifth fastest time in school history.