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Cross Country to Compete at Dayton Invitational

Cross Country to Compete at Dayton Invitational

Sept. 1, 2011

Contact: Greg Murphy

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State cross country team will begin the 2011 season on Saturday (Sept. 3) at the Flyer 5K Invitational at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering, Ohio.

The meet is set to begin at 11:15 a.m., as the Vikings will look to build on their success from last season when CSU finished sixth at the Horizon League Championship. It was the best finish by the Vikings since finishing sixth in 1996.

CSU returns eight runners, including five seniors who finished as CSU's top-five placers at the Horizon League Championship.

Allison Craine, who finished 16th with a time of 19:01 at the league meet, missed all-league honors by eight seconds as she was the Vikings top finisher in every meet but one last season.

Not far behind Craine was Brittany Elmlinger.

Elmlinger, who finished in the top three for CSU in every meet last season, finished seventh overall at the Shawnee State Invitational last season with a time of 19:51, and helped CSU record their first team title in school history.

The three remaining seniors; Andria Bazilevich, Kari Haywood, and Kelly Zaleski, were consistent all year for the Vikings, as they all competed in every meet in 2010.

Zaleski broke 20 minutes for the first time at the Mel Brodt Invitational last season, leading to a third place finish for CSU and 36th overall. She again broke 20 when it mattered the most, running a 19:56 at the league meet helping her finish 42nd overall.

Haywood, who hadn't run cross country in four years, made a quick impact. She broke 20 minutes at the Ohio Invitational, the first of four sub-20 minute times, allowing her to become one of CSU's most reliable runners.

While the Vikings will look to continue on their momentum, they will also welcome several newcomers to the team.

Five freshman; Tori Holt, Kendra Kezur, Angela Kirila, Rebekah Mills, and Katie Webb, will hit the starting line Saturday for the first time as a Viking.

Holt lettered for four years in both cross country and track, as she qualified for the state championship her senior year at Centerburg High School.

Earning all-league and all-district honors three straight years and setting a school record in the 4x400 in track as a sophomore at Sylvania Southview High School, Kezur is a highly-touted freshman ready to contribute now.

Webb also lettered four times in both, helping her cross country team to regional's her junior and senior season.

The Vikings will be back at it a week later, as they will travel to Detroit, Mich. to take place in the Detroit Titan Invitational on Saturday (Sep. 10).