EMU Women - EMU Triangular Meet Opens Up 2013 Women's Cross Country Season

EMU Women - EMU Triangular Meet Opens Up 2013 Women's Cross Country Season

Provided by EMU

BRIGHTON, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) — Eastern Michigan University's women's cross country team is ready to begin the 2013 season with the EMU Triangular, Friday, Aug. 30, in Brighton, Mich. The home meet will be the first-of-six on the road to the Mid-American Conference Championship.

"We want to be ready for the bigger meets in October and build through to the MAC championship, so the smaller meets that we have in the beginning are important to begin that process," said Head Coach Sue Parks. "Our focus is to use the triangular and the next couple following meets to let the team come together."

The season marks the eighth at the helm of the women's cross country program for Coach Parks, who herself was an accomplished runner for the Eagles, winning the MAC individual title in 1976, 1977, and 1978.

During the 2012 season, the team placed fifth in the MAC Championship and had an impressive 11th place effort at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals. In the 2013 preseason polls, the squad was picked to place fourth in the MAC and 11th in the Great Lakes Region.

The Eagles will have seven harriers returning for the 2013 campaign. Expectations run high for junior Victoria Voronko (Stavropol, Russia / School #42); after coming off a fifth-place finish and being awarded First Team All-MAC honors, Voronko is looking to accrue even more accolades this season. "By Victoria's standards, her previous cross country season was not up to the level that she knows she can run," said Coach Parks. "She had a breakout track season last year, and she hopes to build on that and take her cross country running to another level. We know what she can do at a conference level; there's only a handful of athletes that can run with her. We're looking for her to try for a couple spots at the NCAA level."

Joining Voronko in the team's standard nucleus of runners will be senior Kayla Pfund (Shelby Twp., Mich. / Lutheran North) and junior Marina Manjon Rivadulla (Barcelona, Spain / Escola University). Sophomore Rebecca Quaintance (Commerce, Mich. / Walled Lake North) is also expected to contribute after turning in solid appearances last season. Newcomers to the squad consist of freshmen Anna Aldrich (Fremont, Ind. / Fremont), Megan Hubbard (Hanover, Mich. / Horton), Taylor Knoll (Warren, Mich. / Lansing C.C.), and Anna Quilez-Ribera (Girona, Spain / University of Girona). According to Coach Parks, this is a strong group of recruits who should be able to contribute significantly.

Though the squad may be a somewhat small group with regards to depth, it makes up for it in the quality and talent of its runners. As Parks explained, "It only takes five (runners) to score, so the goal for the season is to keep everyone healthy and running well."

The EMU Triangular will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 30 at Huron Meadows Metro Park in Brighton, Mich. The EMU women's cross country team will race first at 5 p.m. with the men following at 5:45 p.m.