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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Cross Country Opens Season at Idaho Invitational
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 09/02/2003
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Sept. 2, 2003

Idaho Invitational, Moscow, Idaho
Friday, September 5, 2003
5:15 p.m.  Women's 4,000 meter race
6 p.m.  Men's 4-mile race

THIS WEEK: The Washington State University men's and women's cross country teams open their season Friday when they run for the border at the Idaho Invitational hosted by the University of Idaho in Moscow...the meet takes place at the University of Idaho Golf Course...the women will race on a 4,000 meter course beginning at 5:15 p.m. and the men will run four miles slated to start at 6 p.m.

17 NEW RUNNERS: Jason Drake, in his second season as WSU's cross country coach, brought in 17 recruits to the program...The newcomers are a welcome sight to Drake, who had to advertise in the student newspaper last year to fill the team

WSU WOMEN: Anna Blue, the only senior on the team, placed 36th at the 2002 NCAA West Regional Championships and 20th at the Pac-10 Championships...letterwinners Ana Cabrera, Molly Bull, and Julia Corbett will be joined by freshman Grace Coulter, Karen DeMartini, Kayle Peterson, Kelly Ramirez, Natalie Smith, and Katie Troy.

DRAKE'S VIEW ON THE COUGAR WOMEN: "Anna Blue has a year of eligibility left for cross country so we talked to her this summer and she's coming back. She should be much improved since a year ago, so she's a good one to have in there. She should be in the top ten in the Pac-10 and an NCAA qualifier. She qualified in track, so I hope she can again in cross country. The other returners, Ana Cabrera, Julia Corbett, and Molly Bull all trained really well over the summer and are looking really good right now. We have six new scholarshiped freshmen and who knows which of those will rise up."

WSU MEN: Junior Danny Wolf and redshirt-senior Ian Johnson return to lead WSU this year...Wolf and Johnson each were top two finishers for the Cougars in five of six meets last year...Johnson placed 25th at the NCAA West Regional and 29th at the Pac-10 Championships...Wolf finished 23rd at the Pac-10 Championships last year...juniors Mike Heidt, Justin Ireland, and sophomores Reid Carrell and Ryan Freimuth are the other returning letterwinners...newcomers hoping to contribute to the competitive team are freshmen Geoff Casazza, Chris Concha, Daniel Frederick, Alex Grant, Andrew Jones and Matt Knoff and senior transfer Steven Barrus...the Cougars also gained sophomore transfer Jesse Fayant, who will sit out the season due to NCAA eligibility rules...Fayant joins WSU after a season at Washington.

DRAKE'S VIEW ON THE COUGAR MEN: "Leading our team is Danny Wolf and Ian Johnson. Danny pretty much led our team throughout last season. Having those two guys back really helps us. Another returner is Mike Heidt, who is improved over a year ago. I think he learned a lot last year with training last year and had a good track season. Those three are the core of the guys returning. A couple young guys last year, Reid Carrell and Ryan Freimuth, who were walk-ons really did a lot of work over the summer and look really good right now. Our prize recruit, Andrew Jones, was at Foot Locker Nationals which is the top 28 high school runners in the country, which probably makes him a top 10 recruit. We have a good group of freshmen and a few really good walk-ons that are looking really good right now that are going to surprise some people in a year or two. Steve Barrus is a transfer from BYU. He was on their team that went to the NCAAs the last three years and was a top scorer for them. He's here for graduate school in the communications program."

DRAKE'S VIEW ON THIS WEEKEND'S COMPETITION: "This is our first chance to really see people race, but it is pretty low-key. Everyone's been working really hard over the summer, and it will give them a chance to see where they stand. A lot of our kids will run unattached and we'll have a good chance to see all of these guys compete before we have to make a traveling squad."

NEXT UP: The Cougars will be off for two weeks before traveling to Minneapolis, Minn. for the Roy Griak Invitational, September 27...WSU will also send a squad to Seattle to compete in the Sundodger Invitational.

Washington State Cougars Cross Country
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