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2013 Preview: Women's Cross Country


West Windsor, N.J. -- Entering its fourth year as a collegiate program, the women’s cross country team continues to grow in size and strength.  Head Coach Erin Cahill-Wetzel is excited for the start of the 2013 season coming off what she considers the Vikings’ best preseason thus far. 

“I am very pleased with how hard the girls have been working and pushing each other, and especially satisfied to see the returning sophomores stepping up and leading workouts and practices,” Cahill-Wetzel said.  “All our runners are in good shape entering the season.” 

Cahill-Wetzel returns four runners from last year’s squad, which took second place in the 2012 Division I Region 19 championships.  She predicts a very competitive season ahead and believes that a regional title is within the Vikings’ grasp.

She notes that the program has made significant strides with each passing year.  At the regional meet in 2011, Mercer lost to Essex County College by 32 points; last season the team lost by just 10 points.  “We keep closing that gap and I hope with a stronger overall group and increased numbers on the roster we can sneak in the top 5-7 spots to get the points we need to win the Region 19 championship.”

Cahill-Wetzel expects sophomores Karizma Brown (Lawrence HS) and Diana Taveras (Hightstown HS) to be among the top Viking finishers, along with freshman Lindsey Vasquez (Hillsborough HS) and freshmen Cai-Cai Hahn and Hixlayne Cuetia-Rodriguez, both from West Windsor-Plainsboro South.  Other runners expected to contribute this season are sophomore Kira Costantino and freshman Rachael Wilson, both from Hightstown HS, freshmen Jerlin Fernandez and Rebeckha Sanchez, both from Nottingham HS, freshman Marissa Scott (Lawrence HS), and sophomore Melissa Clair (Northern Burlington HS).

Running at a meet last season are sophomores
Karizma Brown, foreground, and DianaTaveras.
They are expected to be top finishers
for the Vikings this season.

“I think we are all anxious for the first meet to get out into a race and see where we are at," Cahill-Wetzel said. "If the girls keep pushing each other like they have in practice, I think we can have a very successful season and perform well in all of our meets.”

The Vikings’ first meet is Saturday Aug. 31 at the Delaware Valley Invitational in Doylestown, Pa. View the full schedule here.

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