09/01/06 — Trojan harriers open season Saturday

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Trojan harriers open season Saturday

Published in Sports on September 1, 2006 2:07 PM

Mount Olive's cross country teams get a running start to their season as first-year head coach Beth Green takes the helm. Mount Olive opens its 2006 men's and women's cross country campaigns Saturday as the Trojans travel to Buies Creek to compete in the Campbell University Invitational.

Saturday's competition is the first of five regular season meets, leading up to the 2006 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Championship Oct. 21, in Spartanburg, S.C., hosted by Converse College.

While the size of the teams may be small, Green says the Trojans may have their strongest group of runners in years.

"We are looking to build in the upcoming years and improve both individually and as a team," said Green.

On the women's side, the Trojans return junior Krystal Kee and sophomore Theresa Thompson. In her first year of collegiate cross country, Thompson was the Trojans' top finisher at the 2005 CVAC Women's Cross Country Championship.

"I'm looking to improve this year in the conference and I'm excited about working with Coach Green," said Thompson.

Green also expects contributions from freshmen Sandy Warren, Stephanie Behrend and Dani Boyes. Behrend and Boyes are also members of the Trojans' soccer team.

"All of the women have really been working hard, and will help in taking the team to another level this season," said Green.

Leading the team on the men's side are seniors Donnie Duggins and Kevin Acree. The Trojans also look to see a competitive force with returning sophomores C.J. Eason, Joey Santopolo, Corey Doub and Josh Marquez, along with sophomore newcomer Nathan McKee.

"Last year was a new experience for me," said Eason, who is the Trojans' top returning runner from last year's CVAC Championship. "I think I'll know more of what to expect this year."

Mount Olive was picked 11th in the CVAC Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll and 10th in the CVAC Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll. Green says her teams may exceed expectations.

"I'm looking forward to getting the season underway and turning this program around," said Green. "There's a lot of potential on both the men's and women's teams, and I believe we will surprise some people by the time the conference championships roll around."