2010 Cross Country Coaches Outlook

09/02/2010 09:54

Season Outlook (9/2/10)

Second-year Head Cross Country Coach, John Scholl, is very optimistic about the Titan Team this upcoming Fall. He has two new assistant coaches, as well as a slew of new talent coming in that adds to the depth and ability to “close the gap” for the 2010 season. Assistant Coach, Tatyana Pozdynakova, a running phenom from Russia in the 80’s, will be making her debut in the coaching ranks as she joins the Titans this Fall. Also helping out, will be former Titan and two-time All-American, Andrea Gruber.

On the men’s side, the 2009 NWAACC Champion, Cesar Perez, will be redshirting, but redshirt sophomore, Michael Bellamy and redshirt freshman, Reyes Rivera are back to compete for the Titans. Bellamy was consistently the squads 4th runner in 2009, and showed great improvement at the 8k distance throughout last season. Rivera, had no action in cross country last Fall as he reported to Lane in the Spring of 2010. The Titans will also have 8 new men vying for spots this season. The talent comes from Florence, Creswell, Tillamook, Seaside, Lebanon, and Oakland and Santa Rosa, CA. Jacob Berkner, a freshman from Siuslaw High School brings in some good experience as he is a 3-time 4A OSAA Cross Country Qualifier. As a senior in 2009, Berkner was 3rd in the Far West District and 5th overall in the State Championships. Another addition is Aria Kiani from Montgomery HS. Kiani posted a 15:37 PR for 5k during the 2009 season.

On the women’s side, top returner MaCayla Claver and redshirt sophomore Megan Hale will be the only ladies from the 2009 squad. Claver was Lane’s number one runner throughout last season, and earned All-American honors by placing 6th at the NWAACC Championships in 2009. Claver looks to continue this role and improve upon her performance this season. Hale last competed in cross country for the Titans in 2008, finishing top 20 at the Southern Regionals. She got much stronger throughout last year, and has the ability to be a consistent threat. The women will also be adding 8 new athletes to the squad this year represented by Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Junction City, Gresham, Troutdale, La Pine, and Bellingham, WA. Springfield HS grad, Caitlynn Holmes will be one of the freshmen in action this season. Holmes is a 4-time 5A OSAA Cross Country Qualifier, with her best finish being in the top 25 in 2008. Laura Jackson, from La Pine HS, will also be a factor as she was top 25 in the 4A OSAA meet in 2009. Also running for Lane will be North Eugene grad, Rachel Jensen. Jensen finished top 30 in the 5A OSAA meet in 2009. Chandra Johanningmeier from Reynolds HS adds more depth to the Titans, with a top 25 finish MHC District in 2008, and a top 15 finish in 2009. K.D. Solomon, a Junction City grad, also brings some great experience as she had top 15 finishes in the Sky-Em District in 2008 and 2009. Overall, Coach Scholl feels that, “the size of the squad will add to the competitive environment and improvement throughout the year. It’s nice to have almost double the athletes we did last year. I’m sure it’ll provide some new challenges, but the attitude of these kids is going to really provide some fun competition and races throughout the season.”