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Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

March 07, 2008

Eagles ink four runners

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana announced that Dustin Emerick (Elmwood, Illinois), Kiel Lovekin (LaPorte, Indiana), and Chester Vanek (Chesterton, Indiana) have signed national letters of intent to compete for its men's cross country/track and field team in 2008-09 and that Adrienne Curtis (Louisville, Kentucky) has signed an NLI to compete for its women's cross country/track and field team in 2008-09.

They are the first four runners to sign with Head Coach Mike Hillyard's Screaming Eagles for the upcoming season. "Dustin, Kiel, and Chester are all key members of what may be our best men's recruiting class in quite some time," Hillyard said. "We are very excited to welcome them to the program."

Emerick is a senior at Elmwood High School (Elmwood, Illinois) where he was a three-time All-State competitor in cross country and a member of EHS's 2006 state championship team. He finished third at the 2007 Illinois state meet and was fourth at the 2006 Illinois state meet.

In addition to cross country, Emerick earned All-State honors in track as a sophomore when he finished fourth in the 3,200 meters.

"Dustin has the potential to make an immediate impact in the fall," Hillyard said. "I expect him to be among the top newcomers in the Great Lakes Region in 2008."

Lovekin is a senior at LaPorte High School (LaPorte) where he has earned All-Conference, All-Section, All-Region, All-Semi State, and All-State honors. He helped LHS to a second-place finish at the 2007 IHSAA State Championships last fall.

"Kiel has emerged as one of the top seniors in Indiana this year," Hillyard said. "He comes from a winning program, and his best days are definitely ahead of him. He will play a large role in the continued success of our program during the next four years."

Vanek is finishing up his senior year at Chesterton High School (Chesterton) where he earned third-team All-State honors as a junior and honorable mention All-State honors as a senior. Vanek won the sectional championship and was an All-Semi State performer as a junior. He also was a three-time All-Region competitor.

"Chester has had a few physical setbacks over the course of the last year," Hillyard said, "but he capped his high school career with a solid senior season. Like Dustin and Kiel, he will play a major role for our program in the future."

Curtis is currently a senior at Assumption High School (Louisville, Kentucky) where she helped lead her prep team to the 2007 Class 3A KHSAA Championship. Curtis finished 19th at the 2007 state meet and earned first-team All-State honors. She also earned second-team All-State honors in 2006 after finishing 46th at the state meet and helping AHS to a second-place finish.

"Adrienne was one of the top seniors in the state of Kentucky last fall," Hillyard said. "She comes from a fundamentally-sound high school program with a rich tradition and has a very clear vision of what it takes to be successful in this sport.

"I believe that Adrienne will be a fantastic collegiate distance runner and I expect her to be among the top newcomers in the GLVC this fall," Hillyard concluded.

Dan McDonnell,
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