Trinity Cross Country 2011 Preview
The Trinity Tigers 2011 cross country teams will start the campaign with high regional rankings from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Trinity’s men are ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III South/Southeast Region, and Trinity’s women are rated fifth. Both teams will host the Trinity Hokum Karem Relay Sept. 1, on campus.
“I think we are going to very competitive, with a lot of depth,” said 13Th-year head Coach Jenny Breuer. “We have a great group of athletes, and they work extremely hard. They are students of the game, which means they work to be the best they can be.”
The Tiger women return two NCAA qualifiers from the 2010 season. Sophomores Rosemary Steup (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) and Maddie Murphy (Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood) represented Trinity at the NCAA Championships at Waverly, Iowa. Steup placed 87th of 279 runners in the 6k race, clocking in at 22:19.9 at Wartburg College. Murphy finished in the 153rd slot, with a time of 22:49.
|Rosemary Steup||Maddie Murphy|
Steup and Murphy were the first Trinity cross country runners to qualify for nationals during their opening season, and two of the five total freshmen in Division III to individually qualify for cross country nationals. A week prior to the national meet, Steup finished fourth at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional at Memphis, with a mark of 22:26. Murphy placed 10th (22:47), as both runners earned All-Region honors. The Tiger women finished seventh as a team at Regionals.
The USTFCCCA named Steup to the Division III All-Academic Cross Country Team. The honor is reserved for student-athletes with a grade point average of 3.30 or greater, and for those who placed in the top-35 at the NCAA Regionals.
Trinity hosted the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on the campus of Texas Lutheran University, in Seguin. Steup was the individual runner-up and took home SCAC Freshman of the Year honors. She registered a time of 22:27.6, just 5.5 seconds behind the champion, Taylor Stephens of Rhodes. Murphy came close to getting All-SCAC honors, with a 15th-place finish (23:37.8). Sophomore Vanessa Moreno (El Paso, Texas/Horizon) placed 25th (24:25.2). As a team, the Tigers came in fifth place.
During the season, Trinity’s women captured two titles, the Texas DIII Little State Championships (Seguin), and the UIW (University of the Incarnate Word) Invitational in San Antonio. Steup also garnered individual honors at both events.
TU at UIW Meet
Nine talented first-year runners (the largest recruiting class in school history) will join the Tiger women’s ranks.
Colleen Adams (Wall, Texas/Wall) was a two-time runner-up at the Class 2A State Championships, in 2007 and 2008. Elyssa Garza (Fulshear, Texas/Foster) took fourth place at last year’s Region 3-4A Championships. Rebecca Jenks (Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva) placed No. 31 at the New Mexico Class 5A state meet.
Two of the four men’s All-region performers graduated, stalwarts Zach Brush and Adam Cribb. Back to pace the Tigers is junior Sal Perdomo (Irving, Texas/Jesuit College Prep). Perdomo ran the 8k Regional race in 26:35, and finished in 29th place. Trinity’s men chalked up a fourth-place Regional finish. That performance tied a Trinity record for the most All-Region honorees, and tied the second-best Regional team finish in school history.
Trinity's 2010 All-Region Team
Sal Perdomo(SO), Zach Brush (SR), Maddie Murphy(FY), Rosemary Steup (FY), Adam Cribb (SR), Robert Edmonds (JR)
The Tiger men also finished fifth in the SCAC Championships.
A strong junior returnee is Francisco Escobedo (San Antonio/Health Careers). Two top sophomores return to pace the Tiger men: Caleb Franzmann (Tomball, Texas/Providence Classical School), and Gerardo Hernandez (El Paso, Texas/Montwood).
Trinity’s men captured the UIW Invitational, with Perdomo coming in at No. 7 (27:02), and Escobedo in ninth place (27:07). The Tigers also won the Texas DIII Little State Championships, with Escobedo recording a sixth-place finish (28:08), and Perdomo crossing the finish line in the No. 11 position (28:36).
A newcomer to watch on the men’s team is Ian Plantz of Georgetown, Texas (Georgetown), who won the 800 meters in the District 16-5A Track and Field Meet. Plantz and his teammates are two-time Texas Relays 4x800-meters relay champions.
Brandon Douglas (Plano, Texas/Plano west) placed 30th at the Region I-5A Cross Country Championships. Connor Amoruso (East Northport, N.Y./Northport) finished sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at New York’s Section 11 Division Championships. Lucas Poliak is a resident of Sugar Land, Texas (Stephen F. Austin), who also was a standout swimmer.
Derick Lawrence, in his second year as the Tigers assistant coach, has high hopes for the Trinity Teams during the 2011 season.
“This year, we have an awesome team,” Coach Lawrence said. “The team has had tremendous success under Coach Breuer’s leadership, and will continue to build in the future. We’ve had great back-to-back recruiting classes, and are quickly becoming a program on the rise in Division III.”
The Texas DIII Little State Championships are slated for Sept. 24, at Abilene, Texas, and the UIW Invitational Oct. 8. The SCAC Championships will be held Oct. 29 at Sewanee, Tenn., and the NCAA Regional returns to Seguin Nov. 12.
Trinity’s ultimate goal, the NCAA Division III Championships, are scheduled for Nov. 19 at Winneconne, Wis.