Cross Country Ready for 2012 Season
HOUGHTON, Mich. - The Michigan Tech men’s cross country
team will look to build upon it’s experience while the women
will rely on underclassmen for the 2012 season.
Both squads welcome new assistant Andrew Joda to the coaching staff. Joda is a former student-athlete for the Huskies competing in both cross country and Nordic skiing.
“I’m glad to have Andrew on board,” said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. “I know he will bring good enthusiasm and experience to our coaching staff.”
The men’s squad returns its top seven runners from last season headlined by sophomore Jani Lane. The Anchorage, Alaska, native opened his Michigan Tech career with a win at the Michigan Tech home meet. He finished as the team’s No. 1 runner at each meet.
Junior Matt Dugan will be looked upon this season for both his leadership in addition to his running ability. The Waukesha, Wis., native consistently finished in the No. 2 position.
Sophomore Eric Parsell (Belmont, Mich.) made great strides during his freshman campaign and finished as the team’s No. 3 runner at the GLIAC Championships.
Seniors Jonathan Kilpela (Atlantic Mine, Mich.) and Karl Koivisto (Cokato, Minn.) each finished in the top-five at numerous races last season for the Huskies.
The Huskies will have two other conference competitors in sophomores Bradon Kampstra (Cross Plains, Wis.) and Calvin Nitz (Zeeland, Mich.). The team also welcomes a talented trio of freshmen to the team with Alex Gietek, Kyle Hanson and Ben Kramka. These 10 men and 20-plus others on the roster will be looked to for results in a deep team.
“It will be exciting to see what our men can do with a bit more experience,” said Haggenmiller. “NCAA cross country is typically dominated by juniors and seniors. It will be interesting to see if our men take a competitive step forward this year.”
The women’s team will be led by junior Marissa Yovetich. The Andover, Minn., native moved up to the team’s No. 1 position mid-way through the year before capping off her sophomore campaign with NCAA All-Region.
Senior Amanda Halonen is expected to move up the team’s depth chart this season. Last season the South Lyon, Mich., native consistently finished as the team’s No. 4/5 runner including being the team’s fourth finisher at the NCAA Regional meet.
Megan Smaby returns for her final season with the Huskies. The Neenah, Wis., native’s best finish last season was at the St. Olaf Invite where she finished as the team’s sixth runner.
Sophomore Noelle Savage (Sterling Heights, Mich.) will provide depth for the Huskies in her second season in the program.
The Huskies welcome talented incoming freshman Amber Peabody to the team. The Benzonia, Mich., native helped Benzie Central High School to three top-three finishes at the state meet including the state title in Div. III her senior season.
The team will look to many other women on the roster to fight for positions in the top seven.
“It will be a bit of a reloading year for us with graduation and co-op/study abroad having six of our top eight women from last season out of action this year,” said Haggenmiller. “Fortunately we have some horsepower returning with Marissa and Amanda, and serious talent coming in with Amber. I know our women will represent us well.”
Both teams will open the season on Aug. 31 at the Michigan Tech home meet. Other big meets for the squads will be the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 29, the GLIAC Championships hosted by Northwood on Oct. 20 and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 3.