Q&A With Kirk Elias
What are you most looking forward to this year?
"I am looking forward to a team that has the depth to have someone step up and fill a spot if someone else is not on. Depth is what we have been missing the past few years."
Having only lost your #5 runner from WAC last year, what does that say about the experience you're team will have this year?
"This will be a very experienced squad with potentially much more depth than we have had recently."
Who are your top returners?
"Jordan Burke has been our number one runner since late in her freshman year placing seventh, then fifth in the WAC. She has been extraordinarily consistent. She is a presence upon which all of us depend. Janet Martinez is immensely talented -when she is on she is dangerous. Sam Diaz is ready for a great season and it will be fun to see her race. Katarina Ratkowiak is another very talented young lady. When she puts the pieces together she will be a force in our conference."
Who are your top newcomers?
"Mariah Gramolini, known more for her track exploits (she won four events at the state meet her senior year), will, with a bit of experience, be a big addition to our cross country team. Natalie Fyke, though only having run cross country for two seasons, gained some high level experience in the southern California high school scene racing for Esperanza. She will step in and play a role for the team her freshman year. Demerey Kirsch finished third in the Nevada State meet last fall before winning the 3200 this spring. She has shown she shows up for big races."
You've really put on some quality meets the last few years. What is the best part about having your team host meets?
"There is a sense of pride that naturally occurs when a team hosts a competition. Hosting allows every member of the team to feel they have a role in defending our turf. It really adds to the sense of camaraderie."
What has your team improved on since last fall?
"By all appearances, we should have much more depth than the previous three or four years. A lack of depth has been our Achilles heel in our ability to contend for the conference title."