UMass Cross Country Set To Begin Season This Weekend
Sept. 11, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - After finishing seventh in last season's Atlantic 10 Championships, the UMass women's cross country team will be looking to improve as the 2009 season approaches. The Minutewomen return several key contributors from last year's squad who are prepared for a strong 2009 campaign.
Returning for the Minutewomen is redshirt junior Shiyi Zan, who was named the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Year in 2008. Zan finished first in every meet for UMass last season, including an eighth place finish in the 5K at the Atlantic 10 Championships with a time of 18:18.3. Her performance at the A-10 Championships was good enough to earn her a spot on the All-Conference first team. With her highest mark of the season, Zan finished first overall at home versus Maine, Vermont, and Colgate with a time of 18:21. For her efforts in that race, Zan earned Atlantic 10 Co-Runner of the Week honors.
Coach Julie LaFreniere will be looking for sophomore Karen Roa to continue her success after a breakout season in 2008 as a freshman. Roa finished 15th overall in the 5K with a time of 18:43 at the Atlantic 10 Championships. Roa competed in the NCAA Regional Meet as well, running the 6K in a time of 23:35. Also returning for the Minutewomen in Claire Pettit, who competed in five meets last year for UMass. At the NCAA Regional Meet, Pettit finished the 6K with a time of 24:01. She also ran in the 5K at the Albany Invitational with a time of 19:15.
The cross country season will open on September 12 at the Fairfield Invitational in Fairfield, Mass. UMass will then play host to Amherst College, Boston College, Maine and Vermont on Saturday, September 19.
The schedule will not become easier for the Minutewomen as the team travels to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to compete in the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on October 2 before heading to the New England Championships in Boston on October 10. One week later, UMass will head out to Albany, N.Y. for the Albany Invitational. On October 31, the Atlantic 10 Championships will be held in St. Louis, Mo. Finishing out the season, UMass will then compete in the NCAA Regional Qualifier in Boston on November 14.