CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State cross country team will begin the 2013 season this Saturday (Aug. 31), participating in the Dayton Flyer 5K Challenge. The women's 5K race is set for a 11:15 a.m. start at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering, Ohio.
The Vikings will be one of 10 teams competing, joining Cincinnati Christian, Dayton, Denison, IUPUI, Northern Kentucky, Ohio State, Wittenberg, Wright State and Xavier.
The 2013 squad is made up of six returners and eight newcomers – making it the largest team ever for eighth-year head coach Joe Jaketic. The six returning letterwinners include one senior, two juniors and three sophomores, while all eight newcomers will be competing in their first year of collegiate cross country.
Junior Tori Holt is the top returner for the Vikings this season, owning six of the top-40 5K times in the past eight years. Holt was CSU's top finisher during all seven races she competed in last year, and posted a career-best 5K time of 19:13 at the 2012 Horizon League Championship (Oct. 27).
Junior Katie Webb and sophomore Ashley Lydic also enter the season with top-50 5K times, and were both top-three finishers for the Vikings during all nine races last year. Webb recorded a career-best 5K time of 19:53 at the Otterbein Invitational (Sept. 22), while Lydic set a personal-best with a time of 19:54 at the Friendship Invitational (Sept. 15).
Ashley Berlin is the lone senior on the squad this year, returning for her final season after posting a career-best 5K time at the league championship last season. Berlin and Webb will serve as co-captains for the 2013 campaign. The final two returners are sophomores Amanda Kalain and Megan O'Keefe, who will be trying to build on a solid first year of collegiate running.
The freshmen on this year's squad include Brittany Carson (Olmsted Falls, Ohio), Amelia Holt (Mount Vernon, Ohio), Shannon Kruger (Westlake, Ohio), Sarah Mallow (Blissfield, Mich.), Erin Pavick (Cortland, Ohio), Alanna Shamrock (Cortland, Ohio), Jesse Stallings (Dover, Ohio) and Ashlyn Woods (Mentor, Ohio).