August 29, 2001
USI Women's Cross Country Outlook: A new look in 2001
The University of Southern Indiana’s Lady Eagle Cross Country team will have a completely new look in 2001, and it is not just the new royal blue uniforms either.
The team returns just one runner from last year’s top seven. Jenny Farmer (Princeton, Indiana), a national qualifier last season in cross country, indoor and outdoor track, will redshirt the fall season.
Despite the daunting task of replacing his entire front line, Head Coach Mike Hillyard is cautiously optimistic.
“The team will have a nice blend of freshman enthusiasm and veteran experience, but we will not be a strong team in September and early October,” said Hillyard. “However, the talent is there if they remain healthy and focused. This group of young ladies can be a conference contender when October 20 rolls around, but we have to focus on the conference meet.”
Leading the list of newcomers is Casey Schneider (New Salisbury, Indiana), a three-time All-State selection at North Harrison High School. “Casey has already run very fast times for the 5k distance, said Hillyard. “She will have no problem adjusting to the longer collegiate distances and is without a doubt the top freshman recruit in the GLVC.”
Freshman Andrea Rouse (Clarksville, Indiana) and Cassie Bartelt (Huntingburg, Indiana) also will be key figures for the Eagles this fall. Hillyard said, “Andrea finished 15th at the AAU National Cross Country Championships last fall, and has run under 19 minutes for 5k. She has a lot of room for improvement, and could challenge for All-GLVC honors this fall.”
Tricia Tinius (Floyds Knobs, Indiana), a transfer from Lindsey Wilson College, was a four-sport standout at Floyd Central High School. Tinius was an individual qualifier for the NAIA Cross Country national meet last fall. “Tricia is a great athlete, and she is as competitive as they come and will challenge for the number one spot on the team,” said Hillyard.
Returning junior Erin Oxendine, (Oakland City, Indiana) was sidelined by injuries in 2000 and will challenge for a top-seven spot. “Erin’s work ethic will really set a precedent for our new kids to follow. We will look to her for leadership and guidance,” commented Hillyard.
Seniors Jennifer McIntyre (Haubstadt, Indiana) and Anne Maier (Griffin, Indiana) are returning after a one-year hiatus from collegiate competition. As a freshman, McIntyre earned All-GLVC honors in both cross country and track, and qualified for the NCAA II National Outdoor Track Championships in the 10k. She has a personal best of 37:17, which ranks her second on USI’s all-time list.
Sidelined for over a year, McIntyre is healthy and eager to return to competition. Hillyard stated, “Jennifer is an excellent cross country runner with national meet experience and will be the backbone of this team.”
Maier finished third overall at the 1999 GLVC Outdoor Track championships in the 5k. “We are pleased to have Anne back with us this fall,” said Hillyard. “She has an opportunity to work her way into the team’s top five.”
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information