THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The 2013 Cal Lutheran women’s cross country team is a combination of 10 returning runners and three new harries who hope to join together to climb in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings and make a push at both the regional and national level this year.
“We have a great group with a lot of depth,” head coach Matt Lea shared. “With every member of our team back from last year, I believe that experience alone is going to be a huge factor. As the 2012 season went on we showed improvement every week and that transitioned onto the track in the spring and now is coming back around to cross country season.”
Staged to lead the pack is senior Division III All-American Melissa Skiba, who was third at the SCIAC Championships, placed second at the West Regionals and went on to finish 11th at the National Championships.
Also back on the course for 2013 are junior Second Team All-SCIAC finisher Chelsea Feller and senior Ashley Frese, who was studying abroad last fall and did not compete. Frese, who earned All-SCIAC in the 800m on the track last spring for the Regals, will be a huge contributor and her return is a great addition to an already solid group.
Following those three are a talented group of Regals who will create a competition for the 4-7 spots. That group will make an impact on the team scoring from the get-go.
Suiting up for the Violet and Gold again are seniors Natalie Bullock, Jess Infald and Kathi Kirkeby, juniors Amanda Miller, Chantal White and Taelor Young and sophomore Amy Falahat. Though Falahat ran for the Regals track and field team in 2012 this fall marks her first cross country season for CLU.
Joining the collegiate scene is a trio of freshmen in Kelsey Lewis (Lancaster, Calif.), Kaela Lichstein (Simi Valley, Calif.) and Sarah Parsons (Santa Margarita, Calif.).
Lea and his team are excited for the season to be underway.
“These athletes have been working extremely hard over the past few months and are ready to get going on the course now.”
Cal Lutheran will step up to the starting line for the first time at the ASICS/UCI Invitational at ARC field on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8:00 a.m.