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Men's Cross Country/Track and Field

January 14, 2009

Eagles open indoor season Saturday at SIU Carbondale

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana men's track and field team opens its 2009 indoor season Saturday when it competes at the SASF Invitational in Carbondale, Illinois.

USI, which captured its fourth straight GLVC title in cross country this past fall, will rely on one of the top distance squads in the region as it heads to the track for competition this winter and spring.

Senior Bryan Phillips (Kokomo, Indiana), who was an All-American during the cross country season, headlines the distance squad. Phillips was 39th at the NCAA II Cross Country Championships this fall and was fourth at the GLVC and NCAA II Midwest Region Championships.

Sophomore David Goodman (Valparaiso, Indiana) was the GLVC Freshman of the Year in both indoor and outdoor track last year and is one of the top competitors in the league in the 5,000 meters this year.

Also look for freshmen Dustin Emerick (Elmwood, Illinois) and Brendan Devine (Bethel, New York) to make a major impact on the distance squad this year. Emerick was the GLVC Freshman of the Year and USI's top finisher at the GLVC Cross Country Championships, while Devine was USI's number two finisher at both the NCAA II Midwest Region and National Championships. Devine finished ninth, overall, at the regional.

Juniors Matt Zielske (Elkhart, Indiana) and Brandon Campbell (Portage, Indiana) as well as freshman Kiel Lovekin (LaPorte, Indiana) and senior Sam Gebreselassie (Avon, Indiana) also are among the GLVC's top distance runners. All four earned All-GLVC honors in cross country in the fall.

USI's middle distance squad is expected to be led by a pair of freshman in Corey Dillon (LaPorte, Indiana) and Wes Masterson (Danville, Indiana). Head Coach Mike Hillyard said that Dillon trained well in the fall and has the potential to challenge for a conference title in the 800 meters.

Masterson, who is a sophomore in outdoor track, also made solid improvements during the fall and could match Dillon in the 800 meters.

A pair of veterans will spur the Screaming Eagles' sprint squad this year. Tom Cunningham (Bridgeport, Illinois) returned to USI in search of a second degree and has a year of eligibility remaining. Cunningham competed as an individual January 10, breaking school records in both the 60 and 200 meters, and Hillyard believes he can contend for a conference title in the 60 meters.

Fellow classmate Austin Inge (Ossian, Indiana), who was hampered by injury in 2008, scored for the Eagles in the 200 meters as a freshman in 2006 and should be a factor in both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays this season.

Hillyard also thinks freshman Logan Zeigler (Dubois, Indiana) can be among the GLVC's best in the hurdles this season, while RaSean Stevison (Indianapolis, Indiana) will aid the Eagles in the throwing events. Sophomore Paul Cummings (Bargersville, Indiana) also gives the Eagles a chance to score in the javelin during the outdoor season.

USI is scheduled to compete at Indiana University three times this winter before heading to the Grand Valley State University Big Meet February 13-14. The GLVC Indoor Championships are February 27-28 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, while the NCAA II Indoor Championships are March 13-14 in Houston, Texas.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information


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