Friday, August 20, 2010

Patton to temporarily lead SPU cross country teams; Dawgs ranked as #1 recruiting class...

While the emphasis over the summer has been on what's happening on the oval at various stadiums throughout the European Continent, it's hard to believe that cross country is just around the corner.

Over at Seattle Pacific comes news that Letiwe Patton (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University) will temporarily take over as cross country coach of the Falcons until mid-October, as current coach Erica Daligcon is expecting the birth of her first child, and will be on maternity leave until mid-October.

Until then, Patton (her first name is pronounced luh-TEE-way), a native of Zimbabwe, who ran on their national team and who was a volunteer assistant this past spring for outdoor track at SPU, will be guiding the Falcons through their preseason workouts and their first several meets of the fall.

“I pretty much know what to expect from the athletes and what they should expect from me,” she said.

Patton, who started off at Life University just outside Atlanta, is a graduate of the University of Idaho, where she ran the steeplechase, and earned a degree in marketing and human resources, along with a masters in sports and recreation management.

Added Daligcon, “We’re really thrilled to have her on the coaching staff. She brings a lot of her expertise to this as well as being very open to doing things in a slightly different way. And the fact that she already has rapport with the returning athletes is going to make a big difference.”

The cupboard may be empty, with the Falcons graduating runners like Jessica Pixler and Jane Larson, but Patton hopes the Falcons can make a return trip to nationals in Louisville, and get the men's squat to the NCAA West Regional meet in Bellingham.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington women's cross country team was ranked by media partner Flotrack as having the number 1 recruiting class, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

The Huskies enter the 2010 season with a class that includes 2009 Foot Locker national champ Megan Goethals from Michigan, and 2009 Nike Cross Nationals champ Katie Flood from Iowa. A trio from California--Chloe Curtis, Megan Morgan, and Liberty Miller, and Mackenzie Carter from New York round out what many believe is the best recruiting class nationally in several years.

Washington will need to have several of them step up immediately to replace the graduated Katie Follett, and NCAA cross country runner-up Kendra Schaaf, who transferred to North Carolina.

The new and returning members of the Husky men's and women's cross country teams report to Seattle next week in preparation for their first meet on Friday September 3rd against Washington State in Ephrata, and the Sundodger Invitational on the 18th at Lincoln Park.

Washington will host the Pac-10 cross country championships on October 30th at Jefferson Park Golf Course, where they are the defending women's champions, and climax the season at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute on November 22nd, where they were third last year, after winning it all in 2008.

You can watch the video here…

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