Cross country seeks refinement

The Norse men and women cross country teams look to rebound from a shaky season last year.

They started their season on Aug. 13 with the annual Brian Rohne run.

“The Brian Rohne run was a great success,” said Norse cross country coach Steve Kruse.

“We had a record turnout and it was real good to see everybody running in it. It was especially good to see the NKU alumni runners competing in the run with the present NKU runners.”

The men and women cross country have good recruits and transfers coming this season. Some of the women coming into the program include Julianne Hoekzema out of Hamilton-Badin High School, Sara Eggleston from Taylor High School and Rachel Stoehr, a transfer from Valparaiso University.

The men’s team will be a different team from last year. Coming off of a down year, they will have a new and improved team in the 2004 season. The men’s team has 16 runners this year with 9 of them being newcomers.

“It’s like the roll of the dice,” Kruse said. “I actually recruited harder for the women than I did for the men, and I’m more satisfied with what recruits I got for the men’s team than I did for the women’s team. On the men’s team we got 10 guys that could be our number 1 runner.

“We have a lot of quality freshmen entering our program in addition to having a lot of quality student athletes.”

Two major dates highlight the 2004 Norse cross country schedule. On Sept. 10, the Norse host the NKU Invitational and on Oct. 23 the Norse host the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships. The two events will be held at A.J. Jolly Park in Alexandria. It will be the first time in 10 years that the Norse cross country team has hosted the GLVC Championships.

“I worked with the people at A.J. Jolly Park to develop a good course for the runs we are hosting this year,” Kruse said. “I’m real happy the way the course has been laid out. The course will be both viewer and runner friendly.”

The Norse start their season Sept. 4 at the Dayton Invitational. NKU will be the only Division II school in the field. The rest of the teams are Division I, including the University of the Dayton, Wright State University, Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, Miami University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“The Dayton Invitational will be a challenge for us,” said Kruse.