Nov. 9, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. -Youth seems to be a determining factor for the women's cross country team. Out of the seven student-athletes heading to the NCAA West Regional this Saturday Nov., 12 in Palo Alto, Calif., four of them are underclassmen. However, that has not prevented the young ones from proving their worth by leading the team throughout the season.
Lyndise Etherton was awarded WAC Freshman of the Year and first-team all-conference at the WAC Championship on October 29 in Honolulu. Freshman Meagan Paracholski showed her running and competitive ability at the WAC Championship finishing 17th against athletes with much more experience. Carina Mendoza and Alyson De La Rosa, both sophomores, finished within the top five for Fresno State in Hawaii and are expected to do exceptionally well this weekend.
"This year's team is pretty young, with lots of freshmen and sophomores in the varsity squad, so this will be the first trip to regionals for over half the group and they are really excited," coach Sean McManus said. "As you might expect with a young team, there have been some learning curves we've had to follow this season, but the team is healthy and fit and ready for their best race of the season."
Pamela Cruz and Marrijtje Molenhuis are familiar with competing in the NCAA West Regional as this will be there third straight year. Ann Poythress is another women's competitor who has shown tremendous improvement throughout the season. The women's team is ready and feels they will be successful this weekend.
"Postseason cross country is such a great sporting event because we can line up all the top teams on the same course, on the same day and see how they finish. Regardless of what happened earlier in the season, if you are prepared for the championships your season is a success," McManus said.
With only seven girls competing and four of them experiencing this type of competition for the first time, you can't really go wrong. The team is young and optimistic and has plenty of room to grow as competitors and collegiate athletes.
"This weekend is a great opportunity for our women to compete against the very best in the NCAA. The west region for cross country is certainly the strongest and deepest in the country, so we are excited to compete with the best and see how we fare. To become the team we eventually want to be, the girls need to get in meets like this and experience first-hand exactly what it takes to compete at the regionals and advance through to the nationals," McManus said.
"We Are Your Team!"- For all the up to date information on the Fresno State cross country team log on to gobulldogs.com. You can always stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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