Cross Country Begins 2012 Campaign At Pier Park Invitational
Aug. 31, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State women's cross country squad will open its season this Saturday, September 1 when it competes at the Pier Park Invitational hosted by the University of Portland in the Rose City. The women's 5,000-meter race is slated to begin at 11:15 a.m. and features five teams in addition to the Beavers: Portland, Oregon, Portland State, Clark College and Northwest Christian.
"We've only been together for a couple of days and have had one workout," Head Coach Kelly Sullivan said. "We're still measuring where everybody is at and are using this race to break the ice a little bit, get the whole team out on the road, travel together and spend a lot more time together."
Sullivan and his staff will put a young lineup out on the course, as half of OSU's 14 entries in the race are freshmen or sophomores. Three additional Beaver freshmen will run unattached.
"It's a fairly inexperienced group that's going to race," Sullivan said. "You're always excited to get the season started and we're only running a little over half the team so the rest are on individual plans. I think we're excited to watch the ones that are going to compete and see where they're at."
Donning the Orange & Black singlet tomorrow morning will be freshmen Haley Hunt, Raelyn Robinson and Maureen Tremblay; sophomores Latane Cox, Sabrah de Voir, Shannon Mahoney and Kelsi Schaer; juniors Lauren Graebner, Taylor Hunt, Teresa Lawson, Sandra Martinez, Taylor Nowlin and Hilary Sharpe; and senior Whitney Pitman.
Newcomers Kira Kelly, Adrienne Demaree and Morgan Anderson will compete unattached.
Despite the youth, OSU will be fielding a competitive lineup in Portland. Kelsi Schaer is coming off a strong season that saw her vault into the school's all-time top-20 cross country list with a time of 17:58.63 at the Bill Dellinger Invitational last fall, one of the team's two races at 5,000 meters in 2011. Additionally, Sandra Martinez will be returning to action after redshirting last year's cross country season. On the track, Martinez is the Oregon State record holder in the 10,000 meters (35:27.82 - 2010).
The Beavers are coming off of a season which saw them place ninth at the Pac-12 Championships and 16th at the NCAA West Regional in 2011. Oregon State will be aiming to claim a team title in its second consecutive season-opening race. Last September, OSU had four finishers in the top 10 to help the team win the John Frank Invitational in Avery Park.
Fans looking to attend the race at Pier Park can take the N Lombard St West exit off of I-5, travel 4.5 miles to N St Johns Ave and turn right; turn left on N James St, go toward the end of the street and park. Results will be available on osubeavers.com following the completion of the day's action.
Following the Pier Park Invitational, Oregon State will have four weeks until its next race, the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on September 29.
"After Pier Park we want to spend the next solid month getting the group that's going to race tomorrow, keep moving them forward, and the ones that aren't racing, getting them ready," Sullivan commented. "The Willamette Invite at the end of the month is going to be an important meet and that's what we're focusing towards."
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