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Govs, Lady Govs Cross Country teams open season at Belmont-Vanderbilt Opener

 

Austin Peay State University GovernorsAustin Peay State University men and women’s cross country teams open their respective 2010 campaigns at the Belmont-Vanderbilt Cross Country Opener, today, at Percy Ward Park’s Vaughn’s Creek Course in Nashville.

The women’s teams will get out of the blocks first, with their four-kilometer race scheduled to start at 5:30pm, followed by the men’s five-kilometer race which will follow at approximately 6:00pm.

The women’s race features 13 teams, including three teams ranked in the preseason US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Region rankings: Vanderbilt (No. 3), Alabama (No. 6) and Tennessee (No. 7).

( Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography )

( Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography )

The Lady Govs return just two runners from last season’s team – juniors Janelle Avery and Alyssa Molnar – who will be joined by five freshmen. Avery was the team’s most valuable player last season and will be called on to lead this season’s young group.

“This is definitely a stacked race on the women’s side,” said APSU cross country head coach Doug Molnar. “Our young squad will quickly get a taste of what college cross country is about. We’ll have five freshmen running in our starting line-up so it should be fun to see how they react to the situation. We will try to stay within ourselves and run our race. We’ve been putting in a lot of miles and this is a short race so our strength should show up in the end.”

The men’s race will have fewer competitors – 11 teams will be competing – but the competition will be just as stiff with three teams ranked in the USTFCCCA South region rankings: Tennessee (No. 4), Belmont (No. 9) and Lipscomb (No. 15).

The Governors are not as youthful as the women’s squad as four runners return from last season’s team, including team most valuable player, junior Enock (Ee-knock) Langat (Lan-got). That group of returners will be supplemented by three newcomers, led by sophomore transfer Geoffrey Kosgei (Kuh-say-gee), who joins the Govs after a standout season at Arkansas-Pine Bluff where he finished 17th in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Cross Country Championship.

“The men’s race will be just as competitive as the women’s,” Molnar said. “Our guys have been putting in a lot of miles so this will be a comparatively short distance for them, it will be interesting to see how they do. I’d like to see them go out controlled and really ramp it up over the last few kilometers.”


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