Men, women ready to run

With their toughest schedule ever attempted, this season looks to strengthen the Norse Cross Country. This season will not only toughen them for the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the NCAA Regionals but also for next season.

The Norse opened their season Sept. 3 in Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Flyer Invitational. The invitational is a Division I 5000 meters meet.

“We’re just as ready as the Division I guys,” coach Steve Kruse said. “We’ll give them a race, it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.”

After facing Division I teams the Norse will host their own meet, the Norse Invitational, on Sept. 9th in Alexandria, Ky.

“Our second meet, which is our home meet, will seem a lot easier. We’re expecting a very small turn out for that,” Kruse said.

The men’s seniors Greaham Niemer and Danny Kramer will be expected to lead the team this season. Kruse says they trained together during the summer and are determined to improve their last season finishes. Niemer placed an 18th finish and Kramer finished 35th at the conference meet.

The men also welcome back the GLVC Freshman of the Year, Keith Knapp.

Knapp, who finished 11th in the conference meet, will play a big part in the top five.

“For most part our men’s team has prepared very well this summer, good distance pace and that’s all we’ve really been doing,” Kruse said.

It’s not the same story for women who have some injury problems.

“Our women are not quite ready,” Kruse said. “We’ve got a couple girls who did a fantastic job over the summer, but it’s not going to be enough for a total situation.”

A major set back for the women is Norse’s top runner Tracy Carskadon’s injury. Kruse believes Carskadon will be participating at the Dayton Flyer Invitational.

Last season Carskadon earned All-Conference and All-Region honors and led the team with two individual race victories.

The women’s other senior captain Lisa Sand, who Kruse says has much improved over the summer, finished 46th at the conference championships last season. Kruse says both the men and women have recruited talented freshman to help this season and in the future.

“I believe we will do better in our conference meet as well as the regional meet this year,” Kruse said.