Friday, Aug. 25, 2000
Contact: Mike Vaccaro
Cross Country Team Set to Begin 2000 Season and Host TAAC Championship
CREKK, N.C. -- Campbell head coach Ken Frenette sees the 2000 cross
country season as a journey. He says he thinks the final results
will be the best of the season.
"We are going to improve throughout the season from meet to meet," said Frenette, who is entering his 12th year in charge of the Camel programs. "We will focus on one meet to the next to continually improve. We hope to save our best for the TAAC Championships."
The men lost just one runner to graduation from last year's squad that finished third at the TAAC Championships. The women lost four members from a team that finished first at one event and finished second three other times including at the TAAC meet.
Like the men, the 2000 women's cross country team returns just three harriers who were part of the program a year ago.
Senior Susie Welty of Quito, Ecuador returns following an All-TAAC campaign last year. She was outstanding on the trails in 1999 putting in the best time of her career (18:37) at the North Carolina Collegiate Championships. That time stands as the fourth best in school history. Welty finished the season as the team MVP.
Welty was also a standout on the track last season earning All-TAAC honors after winning the 10,000 meters (38:19.04) and finishing third in the 3000 (10:29.04) at the TAAC Championships. She established a new outdoor record in the 5000 (17:35.32) and was a member of the Distance Medley Relay team that set a new indoor mark (12:43.80).
"Susie had a great junior year on the trails and track," said Frenette. "She's a very focused runner and a great competitor. I expect her to continue to build upon her past successes and have a great senior year.
Junior Natalie Lewis of Lillington, N.C., had her best finish in 1999 in her own backyard when she was 17th (20:42) at the Campbell European Invitational. Her season-best time came at the North Carolina Collegiate Championships (19:37, 45th).
As a member of the track and field team, Lewis was all-conference. She was a member of the TAAC Champion 4x400 Meter Relay team that set a school outdoor record (3:55.55). Lewis broke another school outdoor mark when she finished third in the 800 (2:17.67). She was also the runner-up in the 1500 (4:43.90).
"Natalie had a great sophomore season," said Frenette. "I believe she has the potential to develop into a Division-I mid-distance runner on the track and trails. Consistency will be the key to Natalie's junior year."
The third returning member is sophomore Heather Lee of Calgary, Alberta. In her first year of collegiate competition, Lee was an impact runner competing in all but one event last season. Her best showing came on the Camels' home course when she finished second (18:54) at the Campbell European Invitational to help lead CU to the team title.
Lee was equally as impressive on the track where she was All-TAAC after finishing third (4:4790) in the 1500 at the TAAC Championships. She also set school indoor records in the mile (5:14.4) and the 3000 (10:26.9) and was a member of the indoor school record-setting Distance Medley Relay team.
"Heather is a very talented individual," said Frenette. "She shows the desire and motivation to be a standout Division-I mid-distance cross country and track runner. The key to her success will be staying healthy."
The women's cross country team will have plenty of new faces with five freshmen and one sophomore added to the fold for 2000. The freshmen include Renee Acker of Waurakee, Wis., Laura Bowles of Franklin, N.C., Amanda Eldridge of Palm Coast, Fla., Rebekah Haithcock of Lenoir, N.C., and Lisa Lee of Grimsby, Canada. Miranda Thomas of Albemarle, N.C., will be a sophomore competing for the Camels for the first time in 2000.
Success on the trails could depend on the 2000 TAAC Championships. The Fighting Camels have a slight advantage with this year's event to be held on the Campbell University Cross Country Course. This marks the second time Campbell has hosted the event after doing the same in 1996.
"As a team we're certainly excited and geared-up to host the conference meet," said Frenette. "We'll have a home course advantage that we hope will help us in the competition."
Campbell University Department of
89 Pope Street
P.O. Box 10
Buies Creek, North Carolina 27506
Athletics Phone: (910) 893-1327
Athletics Fax: (910) 893-1330