CC team travels to California

Jessica Ameling and Jessica Ameling

The women’s cross country team will travel across the country this weekend to participate for the first time in the Stanford Invitational. This event boasts 22 races for both high school and college teams and will include nearly 4,000 participants.

Eight falcons, Melissa Krueger, Elise Gould, Jamie Roflow, Caroline Hillman, Niki Suitor, Kim Settle, Andrea Pollack and Christina Gingras will represent the University in this high-caliber meet.

Aside from being in California, another major difference will be the distance of the race.

The runners will only run four kilometers, instead of the usual five.

Head coach Cami Wells is excited about this change in distance.

“I want the women to really work on getting a good start and keeping our top seven runners close together at the mile and working from there,” Coach Wells commented. “The shorter distance forces them to get out well if they want to be competitive.”

Host Stanford is the defending national champions in women’s cross country.

Other very strong teams include Kentucky, Vanderbilt, California and UCLA.

In all, 19 teams will be competing from the United States and Canada.

After placing 6th last weekend at the Central Collegiate Invitational, the team is looking to improve their performance this Saturday.

“We just want to go out and have a good team showing and prove last week’s placing was not what we are capable of achieving,” Coach Wells said.

Individually, the runners who have been consistently leading the team are Jamie Roflow, Elise Gould and Melissa Krueger.

Freshman Jamie Roflow has been either the first or second place finisher for the team at all three of their meets thus far. Her season goal is to run under 18 minutes for the 5K. Coach Wells also believes she has the ability to earn an All-MAC spot, which would mean placing in the top 12 at the conference meet.

Seniors Elise Gould and Melissa Krueger have proven their leadership by being one of the top four finishers for the team in every meet.

“They have been running together for a long time and they work well together,” coach Wells said.