Maryland Cross Country Off And Running In 2002

Sept. 4, 2002

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The men's and women's cross country teams will compete in their first meet of the season this weekend, traveling to Appalachian State's Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C. The Terps are looking forward to a highly successful season this year, thanks to the leadership of key returning runners and a strong set of newcomers.

The women's team dramatically increased the depth of their roster this season, adding more than 10 talented new runners. This large class of newcomers brings hope for a strong finish at this year's ACC Championships. Showing much promise during pre-season practices, freshmen Katie Purcell and Cori Koch seem to be poised to vie for top spots on this year's team. Returning sophomores Lorna Dorland and Courtney Fiorovanti will look to lower their times from last season and set a good example for the young squad.

The men's team is also marked by a mixture of youth and experience. Junior Mike Prada and sophomores Mike Fleg and Matt Adami are expected to lead the men's team. All three runners showed marked improvements in times last year during their indoor season. They will be accompanied by a talented class of newcomers that includes sophomores Florent Lahreche and Doug Allen.

The Covered Bridge Open will be held at the State Farm Cross Country Course, which can accommodate 8k, 6k, 5k or 3k races. The meet will be attended by a number of nationally recognized programs including Florida State and the University of South Florida. This sets up a highly competitive start to the Terps' 2002 season. However, after practicing diligently throughout the last two weeks, head coach Trent Sanderson feels the teams are up to the challenge.

"Our level of commitment is high right now," said Sanderson. "We have a lot of work to be done and a lot of ability. I believe the sky is the limit."

Following the Covered Bridge Open, the teams' next challenge will be their return to the Navy Invitational on Sept. 14.