August 18, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake women's cross country team, under the direction of coach Dan Hostager, has announced its 2011 schedule, one that will test the young Bulldog team.
Drake lost four seniors from last year's squad including Casey McDermott, a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference cross-country honoree. This year's squad will feature only three upperclassmen in senior Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) and juniors Cammy Dole (Anamosa, Iowa) and London James (Adair, Iowa).
"Since we graduated so many great women from last year's team, its exciting to think about the opportunities available to this year's team," Hostager commented. "We'll have a nice mix of veterans and incoming students looking to make their mark. For the new group, it may take a little bit of time to make that transition to collegiate running but they've certainly got the work ethic and attitude to have a lot of success. Melissa Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) and her sister, Stephanie Parks, had a lot of prep success in Nebraska and were a key part of some great teams with Melissa winning multiple state titles. Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.) really came on her senior year in Colorado to help her team qualify for cross country nationals."
The Bulldogs open their season hosting the annual Bulldog Classic at Ewing Park, located on the south side of Des Moines, on Sept. 2. The meet will begin at 5 p.m.
Two trips to the Twin Cities await the Bulldogs to close out the month of September. Drake will compete at the Oz Memorial, named after longtime Drake coach Gary Osborn, on Sept. 9. The team will also compete against some of the best teams in the Midwest at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 24.
In October, a partial squad will be competing at the Grand View Invitational, held at Ewing Park, on Oct. 1.
The Bulldogs will look to make some magic at the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Oct. 8.
The regular season will draw to a close the weekend of Oct. 14 as Drake will send runners to either the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill., on Oct. 14 or to the Pre-National Meet on Oct. 16 in Terre Haute, Ind.
After a seventh-place finish a year ago, the Bulldogs will look for a better result at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championship on Oct. 30 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Drake's road to the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., will begin on Nov. 12 in DeKalb, Ill., at regional qualifying. Those advancing would compete in the national championship on Nov. 21.