Titans' Cross Country looking to run all the way to the top.

09/23/2010 14:31

Lane goes to Corban Invitational and places second and third.

Alan K. Fox

Issue date: 9/23/10 Section: Sports

Titan cross country looks to have another successful season in 2010. Second-year head coach John Scholl has hired two assistants to his staff - Tatyana Pozdynakova, a seven-time Runner's World Magazine and Female Masters Runner of the Year and former LCC two-time All-American runner Andrea Gruber.

The team hast two returning runners from last year. All-American MaCayla Claver, the team's top runner from last season will be looking to lead the women again this year and improve over the 2009 season where she finished sixth at the Northwest Association of Community Colleges' Championships. Also returning to the team is redshirt sophomore Megan Hale, who last ran for the Titans in 2008, where she finished in the Top 20 in the NWACC Southern Regional.

Although the Titans only have two returning veterans, there's plenty of promise in the team's new recruits.

Springfield High School graduate Caitlynn Holmes, a four-time Oregon School Activities Association Cross Country qualifier is joining the Titans this year.

North Eugene's Rachel Jensen, a Top 30 finisher in the 5A OSAA meet in the 2009 and Laura Jackson from LaPine High have joined the team as well. Jackson was a Top 25 finisher in the 4A OSAA meet in 2009.

Also joining the team are Chandra Johanningmeier from Reynolds High School and K.D. Soloman from Junction City High School.

On the men's side, NWACC champion Cesar Perez, will be redshirting this year, but the Titans will return redshirt freshman Reyes Rivera and redshirt sophomore Michael Bellamy. Bellamy was the team's fourth best runner in the 2009 season, and Rivera is running for LCC for the first time this season.

Highlighting the newcomers to the men's team is Siuslaw High School graduate, Jacob Berkner. Berkner is a three-time 4A OSAA cross country qualifier, who finished fifth overall in the OSAA State Championships.

The Titans kicked the cross country season off just a few days after practice had began for the season in Salem, at the Corban Invitational on September 4. Lane looked good in the season debut with the women finishing second overall and the men third.

Leading the women in the 3K race were Jensen, who finished third with a time of 12:05.65, Gylany Crossman, who finished fifth with a time of 12:13.79 and Holmes, who finished seventh with a time of 12:31.72. Also scoring a top 10 finishes were fifth-place finisher Lisa Martin (12:33.51) and tenth-place finisher Solomon 13:00.35.

On the men's side, Berkner was the team's top finisher. He finished eighth overall with a time of 17:49.82 in the 5K run.

" I just look at a guy in front of me in front of a race and go after him," Berkner said.

Other top finishers for the men included, Aria Kiani who finished in tenth-place with a time of 18:06.03 and Michael Bellamy who finished in twelfth and ran a time of 18:08.93.