Aug. 29, 2007
The USF Cross Country team will host the USF Invitational this Saturday morning in Golden Gate Park at 9:15 with the women's 5k race, followed by the men's 8k race. The meet will start and end at Speedway Meadow and is spectator friendly.
Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of the NCAA Cross Country season, and the Dons will compete against San Francisco State, University of California-Berkeley, University of the Pacific, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State, Sonoma State and WCC rival Santa Clara, in its only home meet of the 2007 season.
"We are excited to host a quality meet on the opening weekend of the cross country season," said Head Coach Helen Lehman-Winters. "Golden Gate Park is a beautiful venue and the meet will showcase great local talent."
The men, who won the USF invitational last year behind a first-place collegiate finish from current senior Cheyne Inman, will be led by junior Alex Nelson and senior Kenny Sparks. Sparks, who finished ninth last season in the USF Invite, is coming off a spring track season where he set personal bests in the 800 (1:54.59), 1500 (3:57.92), and 5000 (15:05.50). Nelson, who set two school records on the track in the 800 (1:53.31) and 1500 (3:52.55) will be one of the top runners in the field.
Also competing for USF, and making their Dons debut, will be freshmen Ravi Amarawansa (Venice HS, CA), Josh Horeled (Prairie Ridge HS, IL), Hayden Healy (Notre Dame HS, CA), Luke Wiltshire (Central Catholic HS, OR) and American University transfer Jordan Zwick.
The USF women, who placed second last year to the University of California-Berkeley, will be led by seniors Jennifer Hartford, Lucy Miller and junior Michelle Born. Hartford placed fifth last season in the USF Invite and is coming off a spring track season where she set the school record in the 10k (36:46.01) and a personal best in the 5k (17:35.37).
Also competing for the Dons will be sophomores Mary Verran and Alice Hobbs, along with Jacksonville University transfer Fallon Heffernan and freshmen Nicole Bowler (Del Oro, HS, CA), Carly Holman (Bishop Carroll HS, Canada) and Mary Hortsmann (Mater Dei HS, CA)
"We are really looking forward to seeing our newcomers compete," said Lehman-Winters.
Other top runners for the Dons will be held out of the USF Invitational as they prepare for top competition in the Sun Dodger Invitational and Roy Griak Invitational later in September.
For complete results from the weekend please visit www.usfdons.com following the completion of the race. For complete team-by-team entries please click on the link above.
DIRECTIONS: Speedway Meadow is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and is located above 30th avenue off JFK Drive.