Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Ute Cross Country Starts Season at Utah State Open

Alyssa Abbott, a junior, will participate in the Utah State Open on Saturday in Logan, Utah.

Alyssa Abbott, a junior, will participate in the Utah State Open on Saturday in Logan, Utah.

Aug. 28, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah Cross Country team will make its season debut in Logan, Utah at the Utah State Open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. The meet will be held on a three-mile course at the American West Heritage Center.

The Utes will be a much more experienced squad this year with four seniors: Kellie Anderson, Chelsea DiGrazia, Lauren Endersen and Janett Ern. Also representing Utah is junior Alysssa Abbott and sophomores Alexis Davis, Lauren Lewis, and Stephanie Skoreyko. Eight of the 14 student-athletes on the roster have collegiate running experience.

Along with the eight returning Utes from last season's roster, Utah will also add seven newcomers, highlighted by four freshmen. First-year junior Sydney Osmun, sophomore newcomers Samantha Gaffney and Carly Selleck and incoming freshmen Brooke Casagranda, Rachel Perkins and Lucy Yates will run their first race representing Utah.

Gaffney and Perkins are expected to have a showing in this weekend's race.

HEAD COACH Kyle Kepler
Kepler is entering his fourth season as the head coach of the Utah Cross Country Team and the Track and Field team.

Kepler coached the women's cross country team to an 11th-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Mountain Regional Tournament last season. The team finished with 269 points as Alyssa Abbot paced the Utes, clocking the 6K race in 21:41.3. She was 24th overall.



"We're excited to get the cross country season underway. We have a great nucleus returning which will provide our leadership. We also have five newcomers who will provide us with some depth we haven't had in the past."

"The opening meet is always pretty low key. Everyone is just trying to see where they are in their training so they can make any necessary adjustments."

"Our women seem to all be in different places with their training right now. We have some who are in outstanding shape and others who because of injury or illness are not quite as far along. We can't rush those kids and risk further injury, so several of our runners will not be running this weekend."

"We have other meets with greater importance later in the year. Hopefully, we'll have more people healthy and with better training over the course of the next 2-4 weeks for those races."

"Unlike many of the other sports we don't have regular season records to worry about so we can more time developing our athletes and inserting them into the lineup when they are ready."

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