MADISON, S.D. - Dakota State University women's and men's cross country teams are in a full swing this week. They began their official practice last Monday, Aug. 29. Their first meet of the season is not until Sept. 17 as DSU hosts its Herb Blakely Invitational at the Madison Country Club.
Buzz Stevenson returns back as a head coach for DSU's cross country team. He will be assisted by former NAIA All-American cross country runner and 2011 DSU graduate Anthony Drealan. They are looking forward to an exciting 2011 season, their first year as a member of Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.).
There are four seniors on the Trojans' women's cross country team. The Trojans return national qualifier Stephanie Warnke. In addition, Brandi Gau, Paula Kapperman and Sara Schultz will be entering their final year as a member of the cross country team. Summer Bronson and Claire Beck are the juniors on the team. Nicole Jurrens returns back as a sophomore, and Amber Wiebenga is a new member of the team.
DSU returns six men's runners from last year's team that finished second in the Dakota Athletic Conference championship meet a season ago. The Trojans return two national cross country national qualifiers from last fall - senior Matt Fideler and junior Andy Coy. Michael Hoffman returns back to the team after qualifying for NAIA nationals in men's marathon. Senior John Bintliff, junior Andy Quenzer and sophomore Kace Groff also return to the team. Six new faces will join the Trojans - Nic Penning (transfer from Gillette College in Wyoming), Jacob Cassutt, Cordell Muilenberg, Thomas Ricket, Josh Scott and Derrick Olson.
The Trojans will compete in four regular season meets. DSU competes in the A.I.I. Independent championship meet in San Marcos, Calif. on Nov. 5. The NAIA Cross Country National Championships meet takes place in Vancouver, Wash. on Nov. 19.
Dakota State cross country teams will hold their media day next Thursday, Sept. 8 at the DSU Fieldhouse at 3:30 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director