February 25, 2013
Runners honored for academic performance
Four members of the cross country team earned
2012 Academic All-NJCAA honors from the National Junior College Cross Country
Coaches Association for their outstanding work in the classroom.
Phil Culbertson, Rich Ferneau, Aaron Spengler, and Diana Dinh were recognized
for academic achievement for the fall 2012 semester. Culbertson also earned the
honor in 2011.
In addition, the men’s team earned Academic All-NJCAA Team designation, ranking
18th among Division I colleges. Culbertson, Ferneau, Spengler, Adam Gurke, and
Eugene Rivera comprised the academic team.
The women’s team also earned recognition as the 24th ranked team in Division I.
This is the first time that both teams have been ranked in the top 25 in the
The Moraine Valley cross country program has fielded 36 Academic
All-Americans/Academic since the program was reinstituted in 2000.
“These scholar-athletes are simply outstanding. They attend class full time,
work part time, and excel as athletes and students. Their performance on and off
the field speaks highly of them. I am very proud of their achievement. It is a
tremendous honor for them and Moraine Valley,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
November 2, 2012
Cyclones lay solid base for bright future
The 2012 season is in the books for the young
Cyclones and will be looked upon as a year of experience and a strong base upon
which to build.
“The future is indeed bright for the women,” said Mark Horstmeyer, who completed
his 13th season as head coach. “The girls gained a lot of racing experience that
should carry over into the off-season so they know how much they will need to do
to prepare for what could be a very, very good year next fall.”
There were a lot of positives for the team consisting of first-year runners,
according to their coach. One of the most important was that team members showed
they can run well as a “pack.” Their times from race to race were consistent.
“Despite awful racing conditions, they remained solid in their effort. They
could have spent the season dwelling on a lot of ‘what-ifs’, but they didn’t.
"We had our share of injuries and illness, so we were never truly healthy during
the season, and yet that didn’t deter them from giving their all every time out.
They were competitive, and with that kind of attitude we can certainly help them
build a bright future,” Horstmeyer said.
Diana Dinh (Sandburg) led the charge for the Cyclones from week
to week followed by Amanda Gerson (Stagg), Maritza
Najera (Thornton), Angela Flores (Argo),
Alexis Vanoskey (Shepard), Nancy Ibarra (Eisenhower),
and Sury Rosete (Argo).
“Their work ethic was impressive despite every one of them having to deal with
some kind of nagging injury or illness. We asked a lot of them, and they
responded as best as they could,” Horstmeyer said. “They wanted to compete. They
wanted to go out there and help their teammates. Their times and finishes may
not have indicated every week the success they had, but their coaches noticed
their accomplishments. If they work hard in the off-season and stay focused and
committed, they will enjoy a lot of success that will extend beyond themselves
and their coaches. We are really excited for next year.”
October 29, 2012
Cyclones finish fifth in NJCAA Region IV
The Cyclones turned in another solid effort on Oct.
27 in winding up their 2012 season at the NJCAA Region IV Division I Cross
Country Championship. They finished fifth in the seven-team race.
Diana Dinh led the way again over the 5K course at Sauk Valley Community College
in Dixon placing 24th out of 58 finishers in 22:14. Amanda Gerzon was next in
26th place in 22:18 followed by Angela Flores (27th, 22:26), Maritza Najera
(33rd, 23:14), Alexis Vanoskey (38th, 23:49), Nancy Ibarra (40th, 24:05), and
Sury Rosete (55th, 28:03).
“They really had a great finish to their season,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
“Some of the girls ran personal bests, and that’s a terrific way to end the
season. We also liked the way they ignored illness and injuries and just went
out and gave it their all. That’s all you can ask. They made really good strides
this season, and they have a lot of positives to build on for next fall.”
October 22, 2012
Cyclones finish fourth in conference
The running Cyclones turned in solid effort and
finished fourth at the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Cross Country
Championship on Oct. 20.
Diana Dinh led the seven-women contingent, finishing in 14th place out of 39
runners in 22:12 over the challenging 5K course on the Moraine Valley campus.
Amanda Gerzon was next in 18th place in 22:47 followed by Maritza Najera (20th,
23:11), Angela Flores (21st, 23:15), Nancy Ibarra (25th, 24:23), Alexis Vanoskey
(26th, 24:41), and Sury Rosete (38th, 28:31).
“I am really pleased with their effort. They gave it everything they had,” said
coach Mark Horstmeyer. "We still aren’t close to being healthy, but that’s cross
country, and the girls accepted that and pushed on.”
Now the Cyclones are preparing for the NJCAA Region IV Division I Championship
on Oct. 27 at Sauk Valley College in Dixon. “In addition to the Skyway
conference teams, three more quality teams will be entered, so we definitely
have our work cut out for us. I know the girls will be ready, and I know they
will give it their best. They always do, and that’s all the coaches want,”
October 15, 2012
Cyclones show game effort in soggy Brooks
The running Cyclones put up a game effort Oct. 13
battling injuries and less than ideal running conditions at the University of
Wisconsin-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational, finishing 37th of 37 teams.
Diana Dinh led the six-women contingent over the 6K course at Lake
Breeze Golf Course on a rainy, windy and cold morning, finishing in 429th place
in 27:54. Amanda Gerzon was next in 457th place in 28:56 followed by
Maritza Najera (461st, 29:09), Angela Flores (464th,
29:21), Nancy Ibarra (489th, 31:57), and Sury Rosete (499th, 35:33). There were 500 finishers.
“We aren’t very healthy—in fact, we had to leave one of the girls at home
because of illness,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer. “So combine that with the
weather conditions, and we just had to gut it out the best we could. I think
they did that.
“Saturday’s race will be memorable not only because of the horrible weather
conditions but also because of when the women started their race—two minutes
after the men,” Horstmeyer said. “The men’s race was delayed by 45 minutes
because of lightning which meant the women’s race would be pushed back by that
same time frame. But UW-Oshkosh officials felt that if the women waited an
additional 45 minutes, the race may never get off, so they decided to start the
men at 11:15 a.m. and the women at 11:17 a.m. It worked!
“It really was fun to watch—first you had a wave of 500 men and then two minutes
later a wave of 500 women. Because the weather was so cold and rainy, we told
the kids just run across the finish line and head straight to the vans and to
get warm and put dry clothes on,” Horstmeyer said. “Let’s keep our fingers
crossed that Saturday isn’t the same, although our kids will be ready if it is.”
The Brooks Invitational concludes the regular racing season. The Cyclones
will prepare for the championship season, which begins Saturday with the
Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference at Moraine Valley followed by the NJCAA
Region IV Division I Championship on Oct. 27 at Sauk Valley College.
October 8, 2012
Cyclones rise to challenge with good team
The Cyclones confronted a challenging 6K course at
the Wisconsin Lutheran College Warrior Invitational and finished ninth of 14
teams with another positive outing.
Maritza Najera led the Moraine Valley assault with a 50th place finish in 27:39.
Amanda Gerzon was next one place back in 51st in 27:49, followed by
Diana Dinh (55th, 28:05), Angela Flores (60th, 28:18),
Alexis Vanoskey (66th, 29:05), and Sury Rosete (92nd,
35:00). There were 104 finishers in the field.
“We told the girls that we weren’t so much interested in their time as we were
in how close they finished to each other. I think for the most part they
accomplished that, so we’re pleased with their effort on a hilly course,” said coach
Mark Horstmeyer. “We still have work to do, but we continue to move in the
right direction, and that’s what we need at this point with the championship
season just around the corner.”
The women travel to the University of
Wisconsin-Oshkosh for the Brooks Invitational on Saturday to compete in a very
competitive field. UW-Oshkosh’s invite is the pre-race for the NCAA Division III
Midwest Regional, so there will be some nationally ranked teams jumping in. "I’m
looking forward to the girls having another good outing,” Horstmeyer said.
October 1, 2012
Cyclones continue positive push
The Cyclones took advantage of ideal weather
conditions and familiarity with the 5K course to record personal bests and
finish seventh of eight teams in the College of DuPage-Puma Invitational on
Sept. 28 at St. James Farm in Warrenville.
This time out Maritza Najera led the Moraine Valley charge with a 46th place
finish out of 85 in 21:50. She was followed by Amanda Gerzon (53rd, 22:11),
Alexis Vanoskey (56th, 22:30), Angela Flores (63rd, 23:25), and Sury Rosete
“They just did a tremendous job for us. Their confidence is rising, and their
teamwork is improving,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer. “We were really pleased with
their performance. This was Sury's first collegiate race, and she didn't know
what to expect. Now she knows what she's capable of doing. Maritza just wouldn't
be denied. She had a goal, and she just gutted it out. Amanda is amazing. She
constantly has to deal with respiratory issues, but she just digs down and gets
it done. Alexis is really coming on. This was only her second race of the
season, and she just keeps dropping her times. I’m really proud of the work that
Angela’s doing. She has a nagging knee injury, but she just doesn’t let it
bother her when it comes time to compete,” Horstmeyer said.
“The neat thing is they know they can get better, and they understand what they
have to do to accomplish that. I know they were pleased with their effort. Now
they have something to build on, especially some of the kids who still have to
deal with nagging aches and pain and ailments. They are accepting it and moving
forward,” he added.
The Cyclones are back in action on Saturday at the Wisconsin Lutheran College
Warrior Invitational, and they will confront their first challenging 6K course.
“We're really excited for what we think the girls can accomplish. This will be
an excellent measuring stick for them,” Horstmeyer said.
September 24, 2012
Cyclones bounce back at Wheaton College
The Running Cyclones proved that old saying that
looks can be deceiving. If you just consider the team finish, you would miss
what really happened at Wheaton College’s Gil Dodds Invitational on Sept. 22.
Although they finished tenth of ten teams, they turned in a solid performance
and in doing so once again showed what they are capable of achieving.
Diana Dinh was the first to cross the finishing line with a 113th place finish
in 27:45 over the 6K course, followed by Maritza Najera in 120th in 28:01,
Amanda Gerzon 130th in 28:31, Angela Flores in 131st in 28:31, and Alexis
Vanoskey in 136th in 29:03. There were 150 finishers in the field.
“Several things really stood out today for us,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
“They improved greatly over last week as we knew they would. They showed how
capable they are of running together and they showed us that they are nowhere
near what they are capable of doing.”
The women’s focus was on
finishing a strong 5K to prove to themselves that last week was just an off day,
and “then we wanted them to finish the last 1K as strong as possible to get some
understanding of what that race length means,” Horstmeyer said.
“I know the girls were really pleased with their effort as were we. Diana is
still struggling with her allergies but is getting stronger and stronger as is
Maritza. Amanda had her best race of the season, and that will be a confidence
booster for her. Angela is just gutting it out right now because of a sore knee,
and we are proud of her effort. This was Alexis’ first race because of an
injury, and she showed a lot of potential. Most important, however, was the team
effort. Their scoring finish was one right after another. That’s a great team
effort,” Horstmeyer said.
September 17, 2012
Cyclones look to recover Saturday after
slipping at ISU
The Running Cyclones took a bit of a step backwards
at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships hosted by Illinois State
University on Sept. 14 with only four frunners “officially” crossing the
“It was not the race any of us expected, especially the girls,” said coach Mark
Horstmeyer. “So we just have to chalk it up to experience and move on and get
ready for Saturday.”
Because of injuries, the Cyclones ran only five team members—the minimum number
for scoring as a team. “Unfortunately, one of the girl’s scoring chip fell off
her shoe during the race, so when she crossed the finishing line she wasn’t
counted. I felt bad for her, but there’s nothing much you can do about it. I
know it was a hopeless feeling for her,” Horstmeyer said.
Katie Burke, who had been battling a bad cold all week, still led the Cyclones
charge with a 222nd finish in 22:19, an improvement on her performance the
previous week. Diana Dinh, who has been struggling with allergies all season,
was next in 241st in 23:01, followed by Angela Flores in 258th in 23:52 and
Amanda Gerzon in 264th place in 24:33. There were 300 finishers in the
championship that includes colleges and universities from all NCAA divisions,
NAIA schools and community colleges.
“We just have to keep working hard, get healthy, learn something from each race,
and remember it for the next time,” Horstmeyer said. “We have a series of
smaller-sized races coming up over the next several weeks, and this will help us
out a lot. We have a ways to go, and I think the team will learn a lot about
themselves in the weeks ahead. I’m looking forward to seeing how they respond on
September 10, 2012
Cyclones continue progress at Midwest
Neither rain nor lightning could deter the Cyclones
from their appointed first 5K race on Sept. 7 at the Midwest Classic XC
Invitational, where they finished 10th of 11 teams. The weather was not the only
challenge the young Moraine Valley team faced as they were the only community
college in the field.
"They acquitted themselves quite well," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "This was
the first 5K of the season for them, and it was also very competitive. We were
pleased with the progress they showed."
Katie Burke (Sandburg) led the way again with a 95th place finish in a time of
22:25. She was followed by Diana Dinh (Sandburg) in 99th in 22:42, Angela Flores
(Argo) in 106th in 23:14, Maritza Najera (Thornton) in 110th in 23:43, Amanda
Gerzon (Stagg) in 114th in 23:59, and Nancy Ibarra (Eisenhower) in 125th in
24:42. There were 137 finishers in the race hosted by Olivet Nazarene University
at the Aspen Ridge Golf Club in Bourbonnais.
"The race was delayed by over 30 minutes because of lightning, so the girls had
to readjust their preparation, and I liked the way they handled it. The course
was soggy from all the rain even up to the start of the race," Horstmeyer said.
"I also liked the way they had a controlled start and stayed together. We need
to continue to work on keeping it tight all the way through, but they definitely
are heading in the right direction."
The women will continue to gain experience when they compete this Friday at the
Illinois Intercollegiate Championship at Illinois State University. "This is a
big race with Illinois colleges and universities of all sizes competing. This is
a fun meet and gives the kids an opportunity to mix it up with some of the best
teams in Illinois that are also nationally ranked. It will be fast and
competitive, and I'm excited to see how the team continues to improve,"
September 3, 2012
Cyclones battle challenging conditions in
The running Cyclones had to overcome high
temperatures, humidity and tough competition at Elmhurst College’s Earlybird
Invite on Aug. 31 to place 12th of 16 teams.
Katie Burke (Sandburg) led the way, finishing 93rd out of 166 finishers in 17:59
over the 4K Eldridge Park course. Following her across the finish line were
Diana Dinh (Sandburg) in 97th in 18:11, Angela Flores (Argo) in 113th in 18:43,
Maritza Najera (Thornton) in 129th in 19:23, Amanda
Gerzon (Stagg) in 139th in 19:59, and Nancy Ibarra (Eisenhower) in 144th in
“I was pleased with the effort in our first outing,” said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
“This was the girls’ first collegiate race, and I think they now are beginning
to understand what they will have to do to raise their game. They have potential
and commitment. I think they also understand there’s a lot of hard work ahead.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how they respond to their first 5K on Friday.
It should be fun for them. We’re excited to see what they can do,” Horstmeyer
August 28, 2012
New season, new team
The 2012 edition of the Running Cyclones is brand new. No one returns from last
year. But don’t mistake newness with lack of experience. This year’s Cyclones
crew is far from that, and shares one thing in common with last year’s team—they
want to be in the championship hunt.
“We have all new faces this year, but I’m excited about our prospects,” said
coach Mark Horstmeyer, who is in his 13th season at the helm. “The girls all
have high school experience and come from solid high school programs, and that’s
already beginning to reveal itself in our workouts.”
The team consists of Katie Burke and Diana Dinh, both from Sandburg; Argo grads
Angela Flores and Sury Rosete; Amanda Gerson (Stagg);
Alexis Vanoskey (Shepard);
Maritza Najera (Thornton); and Eisenhower product Nancy Ibarra.
“Their work ethic is impressive. We could tell they put in time over summer to
establish a base, so we have been able to build from that. They have responded
very well to what we want them to do. We have a long way to go, but we are
pleased by what we see in the early going. We need to stay healthy and get
stronger, and I’m confident we will. I’m excited to see how they progress over
the next couple of months as we get ready for the championship season,”
Horstmeyer said. “It should be a fun season!”