DES MOINES, Iowa -
Drake women's cross country team will begin its 2012 campaign at the annual
Bulldog Classic this Friday (Aug. 31) at Ewing Park, located on the south side
of Des Moines. The 4,000-meter race begins at 5 p.m.
Sizing Up The Squad: The Bulldogs return 11 runners from last year’s young squad. The team lost no runners while adding depth and experience with nine newcomers. Fifth-year seniors Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) and senior Cammy Dole (Anamosa, Iowa) have the most experience of the crew. Lake was the Missouri Valley Conference champion in the 1500 during the Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past spring.
Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.) had an impressive showing in the Bulldog Classic last season. She and fellow sophomores Melissa Parks and Stephanie Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) will join juniors Erin Poss (Lake Forest, Ill.), Celia Venezia (Labadie, Mo.) and Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) to challenge for top finishes.
A Year Ago: Fulton paced the Bulldogs with a third-place finish in her first collegiate race in a time of 15:18.44. She was followed by Melissa Parks, who finished 12th in 15:56.25. Marwitz, Lake, Krista Maguire (Wausau, Wis.) and Venezia finished 15th-18th respectively.
Bulldogs Picked Eighth in MVC
Preseason Poll: A young Drake women's cross-country
squad was tabbed to finish eighth by MVC coaches in their annual preseason
The Bulldogs bring back all of their runners who scored at the 2011 MVC Championship. Fulton and Lake were Drake's top-two finishers last year, running times of 18:58 and 19:21, respectively.
After winning last year's MVC Cross Country Championship and returning four of the seven members of the championship squad, the league coaches picked Illinois State to claim the women's title in 2012. Bradley was picked second in the preseason poll earning one first-place mark and 83 points. Wichita State came in an extremely close third, earning 82 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Southern Illinois notched the No. 4 spot, tallying 68 points, after only losing their top-finisher from last year. Indiana State and Missouri State are tied for fifth-place, securing 53 points. Northern Iowa is picked seventh with 43 points, with Drake garnering 28 points for eighth. Evansville and Creighton round out the women's poll in ninth and 10th place, respectively.