Heading the list of returnees on the
women's team is Chris Tien Taitt, who qualified for nationals and
placed ninth. Taitt, from Crete, heads a group of eight girls on the
Joining the sophomore is Mary Daum of
Mason City, Jeanine Mills of Meukes and Betsy Scarpci of Lockport,
all returning from last season. Two other sophomores, Mollie Donahue
of Aledo and Toni Ortega of Pekin, join the squad this season.
Freshmen Tara Bodnar and Angeliae Pass round out the team.
"Chris obviously will be our leader;
however, Mary and Jeanine give us a lot to build around on the
women's side this season," said Verbeck. "We are allowed to have
seven compete in each match, with the top five runners accounting
for the team score. These three girls have done a lot of training
during the summer, and they are excited about the upcoming season.
"At the present time, Mollie and Toni
look to be our other top runners, but they are being pushed by the
other three team members."
Ten members make up the men's squad
this season, including four sophomores. "Our leader at the present
time is Mario Willbourn (East St. Louis), who ran well in some meets
last season," said Verbeck. "He missed several meets last season due
to injury. Jordan Gerard (Pittsfield) has been running well and
looks to be our No. 2 participant. Another who has shown well early
is Mark Shannahan (Mount Zion), who is a transfer from Parkland.
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Verbeck continued, "Our freshman class
has been phenomenal in practice. Clint Wombles (Pleasant Hill) has
been the early leader among the freshmen, and with this class, I
feel we will have plenty of depth to compete at the team level."
Others on the squad include sophomores
Russ Holstine of Rock Island and Mike Lister of Pittsfield. Freshman
members are Ryan Maisenbacher of Williamsville, Curtis Hughes of
East St. Louis, Rob Dudgeon of Olympia and Travis Starr of Rock
Illinois Central and Danville are the
only other teams in the Lincoln College region competing in cross
country. "Most of the junior college teams are in the Chicago area,"
said Verbeck. "We compete against several four-year schools, and I
feel we have the quality of runners who can compete. With the type
of runners we have, I think we will surprise some people this
College is slated to open the cross country season Sept. 6 at Sugar
Grove in the Waubonsee Chiefs Invitational. All of the LC meets will
be on the road this season. The men run a total of five miles at
their meets, while the women will be running 3.1 miles.
sports information director]