Cross Country
Panthers to Open 2011 Campaign at Bulldog Classic
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Tuesday 08/31/2011

Bulldog Classic

Friday, September 2, 2011

Des Moines, Iowa 

The University of Northern Iowa men's and women's cross country teams will open the 2011 season with a trip to Ewing Park in Des Moines on Sept. 2, where they will take part in the Bulldog Classic hosted by Drake University. The women's 4k race will begin at 5 p.m., and the men's 4k race is set to follow at 5:30 p.m.

UNI Men's Cross Country Picked Fifth, Women Eighth in MVC

The UNI men's cross country team has been picked to finish fifth and the women's squad has been chosen eighth in the preseason poll released by the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Panther men were picked fifth, securing 47 points and returning four of their top-seven finishers from the MVC Championship in 2010. Junior Brett Egan (8th at the 2010 MVC Championship) and senior Aaron Vosberg (25th) will look to lead the Panthers and make their mark as the 2011 season starts. The Panthers also return experience with seniors Mike Cooper, Brady Fritz, David Nielsen and Brendan Thompson.

On the women's side, UNI earned 34 points in the poll and welcomes back five of its top seven competitors from the 2010 MVC Championship, including junior Hayley Thomas, the Panthers' top finisher (26th) from last season's squad. Carly Olson, Scotti Schon, Leah Blanchard, Jill Lageschulte and Lindsey Wilkins will also provide veteran experience.

The Indiana State men and Wichita State women were tabbed as the 2011 favorites for a second consecutive year by a vote of MVC cross country coaches in their annual preseason poll.

One Year Ago

At the 2010 Bulldog Classic UNI was led by Brett Egan, who took second place overall with a 4K time of 12:43. Aaron Vosberg was the next UNI finisher, taking sixth place in 12:51. Brady Fritz clocked in at 13:02 for 14th place.

Carly Olsen led the Panther women, finishing the 4K course in 15:39 for seventh place overall. Senior Holly Tjaden was close behind, taking tenth place in 15:44. Scotti Schon clocked in at 15:52.

Academic Prowess

The UNI women's cross country team was recognized in May by the NCAA for its latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score. The Panthers posted a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent of all squads in women's cross country.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. It accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

In addition, Brett Egan was named the inaugural recipient of the Missouri Valley Conference Elite 18 Award as the top scholar-athlete in men's cross country. The 2010 All-MVC Performer was also named to the league's Scholar-Athlete Team.

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