Senior Samantha Diaz
Aug 23, 2013
RENO, Nev. -
The 2013 Nevada cross country team looks to build on last year’s solid season that ended with a 13th place finish at the NCAA Mountain Regional after finishing fifth overall in their first season in the Mountain West. The team returns five of the seven runners who scored in both the Mountain West Championships and NCAA Mountain Regional Meets. Returning senior Samantha Diaz already holds the school record for 6000 meter races (21:10/2012) set at the Mountain West Championship, and will be joined by junior Demery Kirsch who holds the 7th fastest 6000 meter time (21:46/2012). Emily Meyers will be back as a sophomore with high expectations for the season after winning Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors last season. Mariah Gramolini and Erika Root are the other two returnees from last season’s team.
Six athletes will be joining the cross country team as part of an international cast of new runners. Local products Wynne Allen (Bishop Manogue H.S.), Katie Peters (Spanish Springs H.S.), Meagan Wood (Damonte Ranch H.S.) and Las Vegas natives Lummer Leimberger and Kristen Morril will be joined by Cheyenne Hunter from Tiverton, Ontario. The freshman class includes two record holders for their high schools (Peters, and Morrill), three all-state runners (Peters/ Nev., Morrill/Nev., and Wood/Nev.) and three members of conference championship winning cross country teams (Peters/2012, Morril/2012, Hunter/2008).
Coach Elias’ Predictions
Nevada head coach Kirk Elias is very excited for this season. With so many talented veterans returning he believes this team has the potential to be the best Nevada has had for the last eight to ten years. The core of the team, Senior Sam Diaz, juniors Demery Kirsch and Caitlin Devitt-Payne, form a competitive and driven group who are ready to compete in the Mountain West. “They are going to determine where we go this year,” Coach Elias said in a statement about the upcoming season. After a few strong first practices he also believes that Cheyenne Hunter and Meagan Wood have the ability to contribute early in the season. Speaking of the newcomers, Coach E. stated, “They may be factors in our top seven. We’ve also got some other kids who with a bit of experience and a bit more training might play a role.” With talented leadership returning and a stellar freshman class this season will be packed with high expectations for the cross country team.
The team will start the season on Aug. 30 at the Nevada Chase Race, taking place at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno, Nev. The team's following race will be the Nature’s Bakery Nevada Twilight Classic at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, Nev. on Sep. 7. The team will compete across the country this season as they travel to the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. On Sep.28, the Sacramento State Invite Oct.5 in Sacramento, Calif., the Bronco Invite in Sunnyvale, Calif., and the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. On Oct. 19.
The season will conclude with the Mountain West Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships in Ogden, Utah with a chance to advance to the NCAA National Championships which will be held in Terre Haut, Indiana.