November 18, 2011
What they lacked in numbers, they made up for in grit and hard work. The results for the Cyclones were a second-place conference finish, three All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference selections and two national championship qualifiers.
"When you look at what these five girls had to contend with throughout the season and the lack of team depth, what you see was an outstanding season," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who has led the program since it was revived in 2000. "That's why I call them the 'Fab Five.' I couldn't be prouder of a team than I am of them."
All five runners completed their second year as Cyclones harriers with a lot of accomplishment. Last year they were the core of the team who won the conference title and took second place in the NJCAA Region IV Division I championship and a berth in the national championship.
"At the start of the season we had a full complement of runners but as the season wore on, injuries and work commitments took their toll on our numbers," Horstmeyer said. "By early October we were down to only the five returning sophomores, and every week they battled. You can't fault the effort."
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the way the entire season garnering her second All-Conference and All-Region first team honors and a second appearance in the national championship. "Alex was determined not to let a chronic foot problem derail her this year, and I know there were times in practice and in races when she ran in pain. But that's the kind of athlete she is. She will do well at the next level," Horstmeyer said.
Cande Pizano (Reavis), who also earned two All-Conference spots and a second appearance at the NJCAA championship, had to deal with a bothersome knee. "I cannot say enough about how tough Cande is. She was under the weather at regionals and had to not only battle sickness but also grabbing a spot that would assure her a ticket to the dance. Her race shows how determined she is. She will really help out at the next level," her coach said.
Rounding out the 'Fab Five' are Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg), who also was named to the All-Conference team, Nagieh Omer (Reavis) and Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi). All of whom were named to Moraine Valley's Academic All-America team in 2010. Omer also was an individual Academic All-American.
"Jackie was solid for us all year, and when she was able to secure a top-10 finish to be All-Conference, I was really happy for her. It was well earned and well deserved. She loves to run, and I hope she continues her running at the next level," Horstmeyer said. "Nagieh had to contend with persistent sore legs and knees all year, and as a result she struggled but never gave up. She's that kind of an athlete. Kaitlyn also had to deal with chronic pain from a car accident early in the season. She never complained nor let it get in the way for going out there every day and every race and giving her all. That takes a special kind of athlete to do that.
"This was a very special team this year. I couldn't be any prouder of a group than I am of them. They were a joy to be around and a pleasure to work with the past two years. They contributed a lot to women's cross country at Moraine Valley, and they will be missed a lot," their coach said.
November 14, 2011
Two Cyclones runners turned in solid performances Nov. 12 at the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Hobbs, New Mexico, under challenging conditions.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) culminated her career at Moraine Valley with a 21:30 clocking and an 83rd place finish over the 5K course at Ocotillo Golf Club. Cande Pizano (Reavis) ended her Cyclones career with a 22:58 and 171st-place finish. There were 268 runners in the championship race that was contested in windy and dusty conditions.
For Dovgin and Pizano, both sophomores, this was their second appearance at the NJCAA championship and both improved their finishing spots considerably from last year under better conditions. "I'm really proud of their accomplishment," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "This was not an easy race- the course, itself, provided several obstacles despite it being flat, and they were running in much higher altitude, about 3,500 feet. Couple that with winds gusting up to 35 to 40 miles per hour, and it was tough racing."
Dovgin's performance at the national championship capped an outstanding two-year career. She earned All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and All-Region IV first team honors both years while Pizano earned All-Conference honors both of her years as a Cyclones. Last year the pair were members of the conference championship and region runner-up squad that finished 26th at nationals. "I couldn't be more pleased with the honors they earned and the contributions they made to our program over the past two years. They work hard and are dedicated to their sport. I know they will do well at the next level. They gained a lot of experience over the past two years running in large races like Illinois Intercollegiates and at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, so running in a national championship was not intimidating. They know how to compete," Horstmeyer said. "Wherever they choose to run next year, they will help their teams a lot. We will miss them."
October 31, 2011
October 24, 2011
Morton College won the championship with 29 points. Moraine Valley scored 43 points followed by Oakton Community College in third with 61 and Prairie State College in fourth place with 87. "I'm extremely pleased with our effort from our 'Fab Five,'" said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Two of our girls had no business running- with illness and injuries- but they wanted to give it a go. They were determined to give it all they had and support the other three. I'm very proud of their accomplishment."
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) was the first Moraine Valley runner across the finish line in fifth place in 21:03 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in eighth in 21:33, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 10th place in 22:32, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 23rd in 24:59, and Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 24th in 25:00. There were 34 finishers over the 5K Cyclones Cross Country Course at Moraine Valley.
Dovgin, Pizano and O'Connor earned All-Conference honors- the second straight year for Dovgin and Pizano. "I am really pleased for Alex, Cande and Jackie. They tried to get it done today, and I'm very happy to see their effort rewarded, their coach said. "It's not often that you put three runners in the top 10 and not take home the title, but in this instance with what the five kids have had to endure and being short-handed, they did their best. I know they will be ready to go this Saturday at Regionals. I believe they will step up even more."
The Cyclones host the NJCAA Region IV Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29 starting at 11 a.m.
October 17, 2011
The Cyclones found themselves not only having to fight the strong, gusty winds but also a stronger field on Oct. 15 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational, finishing in 43rd place.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) was the first Moraine Valley runner across the finish line in 291st place in 25:56 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 328th place in 26:31, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 362nd place in 27:47, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 384th place in 29:39, and Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 395th place in 31:13. There were 395 finishers who traversed the 6K course at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne.
"Two of the girls actually ran faster than last year at Oshkosh despite winds that were gusting up to 45 miles per hour," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "I'm pleased with the way they battled. This was a very tough and very fast field, the race was the pre-national for the NCAA Division III championship, so it was a tremendous experience for our kids to get out there and battle some of the top runners in the country. We were the only community college in the race, and we held our own."
The team now prepares for the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship, which will be run Saturday, Oct. 22, on the Cyclones Cross Country Course on Moraine Valley's campus. "The championship season is upon us. This is what we have trained for and raced for all season. We're looking forward to seeing what we can do. I believe we will be in the thick of things," Horstmeyer said. "I know the girls will be ready."
October 10, 2011
October 5, 2011
Sophomore Cande Pizano (Reavis) was named the Woman Cross Country Athlete of the Week in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference for the week of Oct. 2. This marks the second straight week that the cross country team has received the recognition.
Pizano ran to a 21st place finish among 98 finishers at the Warrior Invitational hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College on Oct. 1. She helped her team finish sixth of 15 teams, the Cyclones's best performance to date and top finish for any community college. Pizano also recorded her fastest 6K time in 26:28 over a difficult hilly course, made more challenging by running most of the race wearing one shoe.
October 3, 2011
The Cyclones took on another hilly challenge over a longer course on Oct. 1 and turned in their best team performance to date, taking sixth place out of 15 teams at the Warrior Invite hosted by Wisconsin Lutheran College in Greenfield Park, West Allis.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the way over the 6K course in 13th place in 25:40 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 21st place in 26:28, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 40th place in 27:57, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 56th place in 28:53, and Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 71st place in 31:01. There were 98 finishers.
"This was another tough course and their first 6K of the season, and they gave it a decent effort," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "The team finish speaks well because again we were short-handed and we were the top community college in the field. Individually, the girls know they have a ways to go, but this race helped them increase their experience for what lies ahead this Saturday on the toughest course they will race all season. We're looking forward to seeing how they respond to the challenge. I believe they will do very well."
September 25, 2011
The Cyclones took on their first race over hilly terrain Sept. 24 at the 13th Annual Forester Invitational hosted by Lake Forest College at Adler Memorial Park in Libertyville, finishing 11th of 14 teams- the top community college in the field.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the way over the 5K course in 38th place out of 133 finishers in 21:21 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 44th place in 21:48, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) at 66th place in 22:59, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 85th place in 23:55, and Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 103rd place with 25:43.
"This was the toughest course they have faced so far, and they have two more hilly races in the next two weeks," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Saturday gave them a good idea of what they now have to do to keep improving and getting fitter. They should be pleased with the direction they're going but not satisfied. There's still a lot of work to do. The girls run in their first 6K of the season over another hilly course, and I think they will be ready for it. Should be fun."
September 19, 2011
The Cyclones took advantage of ideal racing conditions and a fast field to improve their performance from a week ago at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships hosted by Illinois State University on Sept. 16. They finished in 24th place out of 28 teams.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the way over the 5K course on Weibring Golf Course in 150th place in 20:46 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 196th place in 21:56, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 209th place in 22:25, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 234th place in 23:24, Daniela Boline (Sandburg) in 237th place in 23:28, and Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 266th place in 25:29. There were 291 finishers in the championship that included colleges and universities from all NCAA divisions, NAIA schools and community colleges.
"We're getting closer to where we need to be in terms of fitness and confidence," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "This was the first time that we had enough healthy runners to compete as a team, and that was a big plus. For some of the runners who competed here last year, their times were greatly improved, and for a couple of our kids who competed last week, their times dropped as well. We wanted to be more competitive among the other junior college teams, but we got a very good idea of what the challenge will be next month."
Horstmeyer said the next three meets will get his team well prepared. "We face hilly courses, and that will make us stronger and test our resolve. I like the direction we're headed."
September 12, 2011
For the three runners who toed the starting line on Sept. 9 at Olivet Nazarene University's Midwest Classic Invitational, they showed flashes of very good things to come.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the trio over the breezy 5K course on the Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bourbonnais in 49th place in 21:21 followed by Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 96th place in 23:56 and Daniela Boline (Sandburg) in 103rd place in 25:10.
"We're not close to where we need to be in terms of fitness and confidence," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "But this was an excellent opportunity for the girls to assess where they are and what they have to get accomplished in the coming weeks. We're just not really healthy right now, but we hope to get more of the team running on Friday. There were flashes of really good efforts. What we have to do now is get them to start believing in themselves and taking the good things from this race and applying it at Illinois Intercollegiates, which is always a lot of fun and an outstanding proving ground."
September 6, 2011
The running Cyclones had to overcome high temperatures, humidity and tough competition at Elmhurst College's Earlybird Invite on Friday, Sept. 2, and came up a runner short at the end.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led four Cyclones over the steamy and breezy 4K course in 64th place in 18:27 followed by Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 72nd in 18:48, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 101st in 21:02, and Daniela Boline (Sandburg) finishing 102nd in 21:07.
"I was pleased with our effort in our first outing," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Because of the 90-degree heat and high humidity our plan was to just go out and get used to competing and not worry about times. We already are having to deal with injuries, and we're not deep to compensate for it. We started five runners, but we pulled one of the kids at the one-mile mark because of severe calf pain. We hope to be in better shape Friday when we go to Olivet Nazarene University and have our first race at the 5K distance. The girls are working hard, and that's all we want right now."
September 1, 2011
The Cyclones officially start their season Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. at Elmhurst College's Earlybird Cross Country Invitational. Click on the below link for results.
August 24, 2011
All-Region IV team: Alex Dovgin (Andrew)
February 25, 2011
Three women's cross country team members earned 2010 Academic All America honors from the National Junior College Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding work in the classroom. The women's team also earned recognition as an Academic All America Team and was designated an Academic Team of the Year, ranking 18th out of 33 Academic All America teams. The men's team also earned recognition as an Academic All America team, finishing 21st of 25 teams earning the distinction.
Simona Jurcik (Queen of Peace), Nagieh Omer (Reavis) and Ashley Shares (Stagg) were named Academic All Americans. Joining them on the Academic All America Team were Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) and Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi).
Members of the men's team included Jon Altman (Sandburg), Luke Bronson (Bremen), Raul Gonzalez (Argo), Jim Johnson (Reavis), and Felipe Rivera (Eisenhower).
The Cyclones cross country program has fielded 30 Academic All Americans since it started 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 23, 2010
The Cyclones recorded one of the best seasons turned in by a women's team since the program started a decade ago. It was highlighted by a conference championship, a regional runner-up spot and a competitive finish at the national championship. With a core group of runners returning, the 2011 season has a bright outlook.
The team won Moraine Valley's third Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference crown, placed second at the NJCAA Region IV Division I Cross Country Championship and finished 26th of 38 teams at the national championship in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Of the nine women who helped bring home the hardware this year, six are expected to return to provide the experience and leadership to make another title run in 2011. "We had a great group of women who were focused on achieving despite obstacles thrown in their path throughout the season," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who was named conference women's coach of the year. "That's says a lot to the quality of young women we had. I am really proud of what they were able to accomplish, and I know they are too."
Five of the Cyclones' top seven runners should return, but there will be huge gaps to fill, especially at the top, where team captain Ashley Shares (Stagg) positioned herself for the past two seasons. She earned All-Conference and All-Region honors the past two years and won the league's individual title and the Most Valuable Runner Award this season. She also was a two-time national championship qualifier. She holds the Cyclones Cross Country Course 5K record as well as the program's best 5K time. "Ashley excelled in many areas, and her contributions to our program are greatly appreciated. She has set a very high bar for others to strive for. We will miss her a lot," her coach said.
Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central), who landed on the All-Conference team, also will be missed, according to her coach. "She also has been hampered throughout her career with a bad knee, and we kept our fingers crossed that it would hold up this year so she could have the success she missed during her freshman year. And she did. She was All-Conference, contributed to our good showing at regionals, and ran a personal best at nationals. I wish we had her back," Horstmeyer said.
Also graduating is Alejandra Dongo (Bremen), who Horstmeyer described as one of the "gutsiest" runners he's ever seen. "Alejandra ran two seasons in a lot of pain. I felt really good for her when the team qualified for nationals because I know how much she wanted to be a part of it. She is a very courageous young lady," he said, noting that she also excels off the field where she earned Academic All-American honors in 2009.
"This was a tremendous year for not only our program but also for each of the girls. I can't wait to get started on next season. A lot of great things could be in store for us," Horstmeyer said.
November 14, 2010
The Cyclones turned in one of their best performances of the year Nov. 13, and it couldn't have come at a better time- the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championship in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where they finished 26th out of 38 teams.
As she has done all season and last season, team captain Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way with a 20:05 clocking and a 76th place finish over the 5K course. Following her were Alexandra Dovgin (Andrew) in 20:31 and 96th place, Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 21:47 and 174th, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 22:05 and 192nd, Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 22:06 and 195th, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 22:08 and 197th, and Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 23:28 and 243rd. There were 286 competitors in the field.
"I couldn't be prouder of this group," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who now has guided his third women's team to the national championship. "We had set some pretty ambitious goals for nationals, and the kids came through. We improved our times from regionals and several of the kids had PRs. We also wanted to finish higher in the team results, but this was a very competitive field, and where they finished shows just how competitive they were. I'm really pleased that they took advantage of this opportunity and made the most of it. They will have great memories."
Individually, Horstmeyer had high praise for Shares, who won the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title last month, earning her the Most Valuable Runner Award and helping her team claim the championship. As a Cyclones for the past two years, Shares has earned all-conference and All-NJCAA Region IV Division I first team honors as well as been a national qualifier. She also holds the Cyclones Cross Country Course record and has the fastest 5K time ever with a 19:22 and the fastest 6K time with a 23:53. "Ashley has just been terrific for us and for our program during her two years here," Horstmeyer said. "She is well deserving of the recognition. She has a great work ethic, really dedicated to running, and I know she will contribute quite a bit at her transfer school. She already has a lot of race experience running against four-year schools of all divisions, so she knows what to expect and what she has to do to be even more competitive her last two years of collegiate competition." Horstmeyer saved his highest accolades for her service as team captain this year. "This is the first year that we have had team captains, and she did a heck of a job. I couldn't be more pleased. She has certainly set a high standard for future captains to attain. Her leadership skills are unmistakable."
Dovgin, Rodriguez, Omer, and O'Connor all recorded personal bests at nationals which impressed their coach. "They just went out and got it done. I'm really pleased that their hard work paid off for them. What's exciting is that Alex, Nagieh and Jacquelyn are returning along with Cande and Kaitlyn. They now know what it's like to compete against strong teams, four-year schools and in a national championship. That experience is a real plus," Horstmeyer said.
Rodriguez will be missed, her coach said. "I wish we had her for another year. I was so pleased that she could compete this year. She had to overcome a bad knee. We weren't sure at the start of the season whether she would be able to give it her all, but she persevered, and the result was a personal best in the national championship race, a great way to finish."
Horstmeyer noted that Pizano had a very good race despite suffering from a bad cold. "She is a competitor and when things are on the line, she steps up. Saturday was no different. She came through for us."
The coach also had high praise for Piazza. "Kaitlyn joined us late and then was sidelined with sore knees. But she was committed to getting better and faster, and her effort paid off for her. She will help us a lot next year."
November 1, 2010
A few meters, a couple of seconds and three points separated the Cyclones from claiming the National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV Division I championship on Oct. 30, but the consolation prize is a trip to "nationals" on Nov. 13.
Sauk Valley College edged Moraine Valley 44-47 at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg on a windblown 5K course. Morton College finished third with 79 points, Elgin Community College was in fourth with 85 points, and Sandburg College ended in fifth with 86 points.
Two Cyclones earned first team All-Region IV. Ashley Shares (Stagg) took the
runner-up spot in 20:54 and Alexandra Dovgin (Andrew) finished fifth in 21:31.
"This was a heart-breaker for us," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who now has guided his third women's team to the national championship. "We had a nice pack with our three through sixth runners which is always a good sign, but we just couldn't take advantage of it as much as we needed to. It came down to a second or two or less in some cases, that's how close it was. It was thrilling. I told the kids afterwards that I was really proud of them and they can take away a lot of positives. I think they also learned quite a bit about themselves."
The Cyclones now have two weeks to prepare for the national championship in Spartanburg, S.C. "For our freshmen this will be a memorable experience. Not many college runners get this opportunity. They have earned their way into the championship, and I expect them to finish on a high note," Horstmeyer said.
October 25, 2010
October 18, 2010
The Cyclones completed their regular season Oct. 16 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Brooks Invitational with a 33rd finish out of 36 teams, including 11 nationally ranked four-year schools.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the attack over the 6K Lake Breeze Golf Course with a 161st place finish in 24:10 clocking followed by Alex Dovgin (Andrew) in 265th in 25:15, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 406th in 27:17, Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 417th in 27:37, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 425th in 27:52, Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 458th in 28:39, Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 459th in 28:39, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 467th in 29:03, and Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg) in 487th in 30:27. There were 499 finishers in the meet.
"Our girls had a good day. They were the only junior college in the very competitive field and stood up well. They were a lot of fun to watch," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Now it's time to get ready for conference and regionals."
Moraine Valley hosts the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference on Saturday morning on the Cyclones Cross Country Course and then the Cyclones travel to Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg on October 30 to compete in the NJCAA Division I Region IV championships.
October 11, 2010
The Cyclones, running without two of their top seven runners, finished 12th of 17 teams Oct. 8 at Benedictine University's Eagle Invitational.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the Moraine Valley team on the hot and windy 6K course with a 26:43 and a 61st place showing. Nagieh Omer (Reavis) crossed next for the women in 27:49 and 85th place, followed by Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 28:35 in 102nd, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 29:09 in 111th, Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 29:40 in 123rd, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 30:02 in 129th, and Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg), in 30:36 in 134th. There were 163 finishers in the meet.
"This was not our best outing," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "For some reason or reasons we were just not on our game, and maybe that's a good thing that it came when it did. Hopefully, we got that out of our system, and now we can get back to focusing on what we need to do to get ready for conference and regionals. We're looking forward to our final tune-up at UW-Oshkosh. Should be fun."
October 3, 2010
The Cyclones started the second half of their season on a strong note, finishing 10th of 19 teams Oct. 2 at Wisconsin Lutheran College's Warrior Invitational.
Alex Dovgin (Andrew) led the Moraine Valley assault on the hilly 6K course with a 25:30 and a 17th place showing. Nagieh Omer (Reavis) crossed next for the women in 27:07 and 55th place, followed by Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 27:53 in 69th, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 27:59 in 73rd, Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 28:09 in 78th, Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg) in 28:21 in 81st, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 28:55 in 90th, and Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 29:49 in 102nd. There were 145 finishers in the meet.
"This was the women's first 6K, and it came on a cold, windy and challenging course. I was really pleased with how they responded. We had some who gave it a go even though they are still dealing with injuries, but this tells you the commitment our team has. We're improving, and that's what we need to do as we get closer to the championship season," said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
September 30, 2010
September 26, 2010
The Cyclones were missing half their teammates on Sept. 25 at Lake Forest College's 12th Annual Forester Invitational, but that didn't stop them from moving forward with their season, placing eighth in the 10-team field.
As she has all season, Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way with a third place finish in 19:22 over the 5K course. Nagieh Omer (Reavis) crossed next for the women in 60th at 22:12, followed by Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 67th running 22:24, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 69th in 22:27, and Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) finishing 78th in 24:26. There were 115 finishers in the meet.
"This was a confidence booster for the girls," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Lake Forest's course is fast, and their effort Saturday reinforced what they are capable of doing when they push it. We talked all week of running controlled but forcing the pace to see what they could do. I think they proved to themselves that they can even do more. It was a really good day, especially for Ashley. She hung with the leaders to see what she could do, and the result speaks for itself."
September 20, 2010
The running Cyclones had their best outing to date on Sept. 17, at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships at Illinois State University, finishing 20th out of 31 teams representing all NCAA and NJCAA divisions.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way with an 87th place finish in 19:53 over the 5000-meter route on ISU's golf course. Alex Dovgin (Andrew) placed second for the Cyclones in 21:38 and a 178th finish followed by Nagieh Omer (Reavis) in 227th in 23:26, Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg) in 228th at 23:26, Cande Pizano (Reavis) in 232nd with 23:27, Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) in 236th place in 23:32, Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 264th with 24:25, Simona Jurcik (Queen of Peace) at 266th in 24:30, Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) in 278th in 25:10, and Ashley Diggins (Bloom Trail) finishing 283rd in 25:37. There were 330 finishers in the meet.
"This was a really good race for the women," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They got a bit faster, and what was great about their performance is they packed it in. They helped each other, and they showed they are beginning to understand the need to run together to be successful. We'll look forward to continued improvement on Saturday at Lake Forest College."
September 13, 2010
The running Cyclones showed they are ready to take on 5K challenges after their performance on Sept. 10 at Olivet Nazarene University's Midwest Classic Cross Country Invitational, finishing 10th in the 12-team field.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way with a 16th place finish in 20:09 over the 5000-meter course at Aspen Ridge Golf Club. Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) followed in 77th place in 23:02; Nagieh Omer (Reavis) was next in 86th in 23:41; Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) followed in 100th in 24:59; Simona Jurcik (Queen of Peace) in 102nd in 25:05; Ashley Diggins (Bloom Trail) at 107th in 26:09; Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) ran at 108th in 26:17; and Cande Pizano (Reavis) was 112th in 26:55. There were 120 finishers in the meet.
"We had a good outing," coach Mark Horstmeyer said. "We held three of our runners out to give them some time to recover from some soreness, and the other girls held their own as the only community college in the race. For all but Ashley, Trudy and Alejandra, this was the team's first college 5K, and I think they showed they're ready to go the distance. I also think they learned a lot and that will help when we race at Illinois Intercollegiates on Friday. They are looking forward to seeing what they can do, and so am I."
September 7, 2010
The running Cyclones turned in a pleasing performance on Sept. 3 at the Elmhurst College Early Bird Invitational, finishing eighth in the 14-team field.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way with a 20th place finish in 16:09 over the windy 4K course in Eldridge Park. There were 157 finishers in the Cyclones' opening invite. Alex Dovgin (Andrew) finished 41st in 16:57 followed by Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg), 93rd in 18:27; Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central) at 99th in 18:47; Nagieh Omer (Reavis) finishing 105th in 18:57; Cande Pizano (Reavis) at 107th in 19:01; Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) coming in at 124th in 20:32; Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg) in 119th in 19:51; Simona Jurcik (Queen of Peace) at 130th in 21:02; Ashley Diggins (Bloom Trail) running in 136th in 21:14; and Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi) at 151st in 23:33.
"I was pleased with our effort in our first outing," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Except for Ashley and Alejandra, this was the women's first college race and several are just coming back to run. We have had some sore knees and late-comers who are not in shape yet, but they all hung in there with a nice result. We talked about going out and enjoying the experience of their first college race and they looked like they were doing just that. We have a long, long way to go, but we're going in the right direction, and the girls can take a lot of positives from this race and build on them."
August 30, 2010
Returning only two runners from last season, which saw a "beat-up" squad nearly pull out a conference championship, the Moraine Valley women's team has retooled and are ready to get back into the thick of things in 2010.
"We are much deeper and more experienced than last year, and consequently stronger," said coach Mark Horstmeyer, who has been at the helm of the women's program since its inception in 2000. "We have the potential to be really good if we stay healthy. It's something that plagued us all last year, especially at conference and regionals." The Cyclones lost the conference title by two points with their number two runner sidelined and two other teammates running despite injuries.
The Cyclones will be led by Ashley Shares (Stagg), who was first team All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and All-NJCAA Region IV Division I and finished 40th at the national championships. She's out this season, however, to improve upon her performance, and the team captain may very well do it. "Ashley is such a hard worker. Since she crossed the finish line at nationals, she has dedicated herself to getting fitter and stronger. She put in a lot of time in the off-season and this summer, and it shows. She expects big things, and so do I. It will be a lot of fun watching her," her coach said.
Also returning is Alejandra Dongo (Bremen), who was named an Academic All-American in 2009. She was a major contributor to the team last year until injuries hobbled her toward the end of the season. She will be counted on this year to score points. "Alejandra has a lot of heart and courage, and this year we're doing everything we can to keep her healthy so she can enjoy the success this year that she deserved last year," Horstmeyer said.
The leading newcomer is Alexandra Dovgin (Andrew), who brings with her cross country and track experience. "Alex comes from a good program at Andrew and had a really solid senior year in cross country and track. She has really good middle-distance speed and that will help her a lot. I'm expecting great things from her by the time the championship season rolls around in October," her coach said.
Also expected to contribute are Cande Pizano (Reavis), Nagieh Omer (Reavis), Alexa Kacerovskis (Sandburg), Jacquelyn O'Connor (Sandburg), Trudy Rodriguez (Joliet Central), Ashley Diggins (Bloom Trail), Kaitlyn Piazza (Mt. Assisi), and Simona Jurcik (Queen of Peace).
"Cande, who has been hobbled a bit in the early-going with a sore knee, and Nagieh also come from a solid running program. They both were strong contributors for Reavis' cross country and track teams, and I don't expect that to change for us. I'm counting on them to have a really good season this year. We will need them at their best," Horstmeyer said. "Alexa and Jacquelyn bring a lot of experience from their involvement in Sandburg's noted running program, and we expect them to be outstanding contributors for us as well. Trudy has college running experience, and she is really determined to do whatever it takes to have success. Having run at the college level, she knows what to expect and what she has to do," their coach said. "Ashley Diggins is probably the fastest woman on the team. If she can convert her 400 and 800 speed to cover longer distances, she will have a lot of success. It will take a lot of hard work on her part, but I believe she's up to the challenge, and I look forward to seeing her contribute come October. Simona and Kaitlyn also have cross country experience, and I think they understand what to do to get into racing shape. When they do, they will offer a lot," Horstmeyer said.
This year's team has a lot of potential. "Even in our championship years, we never had the depth that we have this year. Staying healthy is key. If we can do so and improve each week, this team will be exciting to watch. They are a lot of fun to be around, and their commitment to excellence is impressive," Horstmeyer said.
Skyway Collegiate Conference Champions
All-Region IV first team: Ashley Shares (Stagg)
February 23, 2010
Two runners earned 2009 Academic All-America honors from the National Junior College Cross Country Coaches Association for their outstanding work in the classroom. The cross country program has fielded 27 Academic All-Americans since it started in 2000.
Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) and Melissa Janda (Stagg) were selected as Academic All-Americans. "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," coach Mark Horstmeyer said.
November 20, 2009
November 16, 2009
November 2, 2009
Ashley Shares (Stagg) took third-place honors in 20:24 and was named to the All-Region first team. Marisela Rodriguez (Reavis) finished 13th in 23:32. Both Cyclones advance to the national race Nov. 14 at Newman Golf Course in Peoria. Also finishing for the Cyclones were Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 25th in 26:21, Melissa Janda (Stagg) in 28th in 26:44, Cristina Dongo (Bremen) in 30th in 28:03, and Julia Gonzalez (Sandburg) in 35th in 30:13.
"I am so pleased for Ashley and Marisela. They are to be commended for their achievement. Ashley has worked really hard this year and all her efforts have paid off. She still has work to do, but she'll be ready. Marisela has run hurt since late September and the cold, slippery conditions didn't help. But she was determined, and her finish sealed the deal. She has two weeks to get healthy and get ready to continue her good work," said their coach, Mark Horstmeyer.
For the rest of the team, the season has ended. "They can look back on how they performed at regionals and be very proud of their effort. I sure am. Alejandra and Cristina ran hurt most of the season, but they are competitors and they wanted to give it a go. This is Melissa's first year of competition, and she made strides since coming to the sport less than a year ago. Julia also has been banged up most of the year, but she ends up with her best performance in terrible conditions. No telling what she could have done had she been healthy," Horstmeyer said. "In fact, there's no telling what all of the girls could have accomplished without the injuries. I'm excited for next season."
October 27, 2009
A game effort fell just short of winning the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship for the Cyclones on Oct. 24, losing by two points to Elgin Community College. But all was not in vain as two harriers were named to the All-Conference first team.
Inclement weather― rain, snow, wind, and cold― played a major role in preventing the runners from turning in good times over the wet and muddy 5k course on the campus of Waubonsee Community College. "It was less than ideal conditions for the kids, but that's cross country and that's the kind of October we've had this year," said coach Mark Horstmeyer.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) finished in the runner-up spot in 20:15 followed by Marisela Rodriguez (Reavis) in fifth at 23:38; Melissa Janda (Stagg) was next in 15th in 26:33 followed by Cristina Dongo (Bremen) in 18th in 28:05 and Julia Gonzalez (Sandburg) in 21st in 30:39. There were 24 runners and six teams in the meet.
"I knew we would have a battle on our hands, and we did. Unfortunately, we came up just shy of our goal. Injuries played a big part this year in preventing us from being at full force and fit. Unfortunately, they caught up with us," Horstmeyer said. "I'm pleased with the effort Ashley and Marisela gave us, and I congratulate them on making the All-Conference first team. Melissa, Cristina and Julia gave it all they had. Injuries and illness have affected them for the past month, and we almost pulled it off. I'm appreciative of their effort."
Next up for the women is the NJCAA Region IV Division I championship on Saturday at Waubonsee. "There is a lot at stake. The girls have a shot at qualifying for the national championship. They know the course and the competition, so they should be ready to go after it," Horstmeyer said.
October 19, 2009
As a final tune-up before the championship season gets underway, the Cyclones traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to take part in the Brooks Invitational on Oct. 17 and came away with a good performance.
Ashley Shares (Stagg), as she has all year, led the way over the rolling 6K Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne with a 23:53 clocking and a 140th place finish. Marisela Rodriguez (Reavis) was next across the finish line in 27:10 and in 372nd place. She was followed by Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 29:46 (446th place), Melissa Janda (Shepard) in 30:51 (457th place) and Julia Gonzalez at 36:11 in 464th place. There were 466 runners in the 34-team field. Moraine Valley, which finished 34th, was the only community college to compete.
"Ashley had a really good outing. She broke 24 minutes for her 6K that included a strong finish," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "Marisela, Alejandra, Melissa, and Julia all ran despite still suffering from injuries and illness. I was pleased with their effort. It was a good workout for them given how fast the field was. The race was a great experience for our team. They ran against some of the top four-year schools in the nation and their performance gave them something to build on."
The Cyclones now start preparing for the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship on Saturday at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove and the NJCAA Region IV Division I championship at Waubonsee the following week. The NJCAA championship looms Nov. 14. "We have to get healthy and get our fitness back up," Horstmeyer said. "The next four weeks are what we have been working for all season. I hope we can get over some lingering aches and pains."
October 12, 2009
Shares, who has led the Cyclones all season, finished the hilly, wind-blown course in 20:17, good enough for 76th place out of 176 runners. "It was cold, very windy, and wet, and Ashley did well considering those conditions. I know she expected more, but she was up against really good competition from NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, and NAIA schools. She was the only junior college runner in the field. That says a lot," coach Mark Horstmeyer said. "She did a good job."
Shares and her teammates head to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Brooks Invitational on Saturday as a final tune-up before the championship season gets underway. "This will be a good race for the team. The competition will again be outstanding as Oshkosh is hosting the Division III regional championship next month, and a lot of outstanding teams will compete," Horstmeyer said. "It will be fast, and we're hoping we can get some of Ashley's teammates back."
October 5, 2009
Only two Cyclones were able to step into the starting box on Oct. 3 at Wisconsin Lutheran College's Warrior Invite in West Allis, but the two runners turned in their best effort thus far.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) finished her first 6K (3.7 miles) over the rolling Greenfield Park course in fifth place in 24:41 while Julia Gonzalez (Sandburg) gutted out her first 6K and only her second race of the season.
"Ashley had her best race of the year. She got in the mix of things and competed. We have talked all season about how she has to just get in with the lead pack and see what happens, and she realized after the first mile she had work to do, and she did it. She's beginning to understand what she has to do and the adjustments she has to make during a race," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "I'm really pleased how well she did, considering this was the first time she has ever run a 6K."
Horstmeyer also had high praise for Gonzalez, who finished in 112th place in 40:01. "Julia's place and time don't tell the story. She refused to quit even after she fell and was running pretty much on one healthy leg. I really commend her for sticking in there. She just refused to quit. That says a lot about the kind of runner she is," said her coach. "I'm really proud of her effort."
There were 113 runners in the field of 12 teams. Moraine Valley was unable to put a whole team on the starting line because of nagging injuries to three members. "We decided to give them another week off for recovery. We're hoping they will be good to go next week," Horstmeyer said.
The Cyclones travel on Saturday to the Lucian Rosa Invitational at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. "This a challenging course, but one we expect to do well on given the fact that it's so similar to the forest preserves we run in every day."
September 28, 2009
The Cyclones again came away with a pleasing performance on Sept. 26, finishing 10th at Lake Forest College's Forester Invitational in Vernon Hills and again showing their competitive improvement.
Ashley Shares (Stagg) led the way again over the 5K course with an 8th place finish in 19:45. She was followed by Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 75th in 22:38, Cristina Dongo (Bremen) in 94th place in 24:38, Melissa Janda in 102nd in 26:17, and Julia Gonzalez in 116th place in 30:20. There were 118 runners and 11 teams competing.
"The girls turned in a good showing," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They continued to drop their times despite having to deal with some soreness. Ashley is gaining more and more experience at how to run at this level. Alejandra is determined to run even though her legs are really sore and Cristina is leaps and bound ahead of last year. Melissa learned more on Saturday on how to race that will help next week, and Julia had her first experience not only as a competitor but also as a collegiate runner."
Next up for the women is Wisconsin Lutheran College's Warrior Invite on Saturday. "This will be a challenging race for them. The field will be solid, the course will present a good test, and they will race over a longer distance for the first time," Horstmeyer said. "I think they have what it takes to continue their progress."
September 21, 2009
Again led by Ashley Shares (Stagg) in 80th place out of 306 runners in 19:54, the women's team finished 23rd of 31 teams over the rolling 5K course on ISU's golf course. Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) was next in 233rd in 23:20 and Marisela Rodriguez (Reavis) was a step behind in 234th in 23:20. Cristina Dongo (Bremen) finished in 278th place in 25:53 while Melissa Janda rounded out the scoring in 283rd in 26:03.
"I was really pleased with their effort and their result," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "This was a very competitive race and very fast, and the girls got into the mix and did well. I know they were excited with their results, but at the same time they know they can do better. They will too."
Next up for the women is Lake Forest College's Forester Invitational on Saturday. "This is a fast course too and a competitive field, so we're expecting good things again," Horstmeyer said.
September 14, 2009
The Running Cyclones took sixth place at Olivet Nazarene University's Midwest Classic on Sept. 11 as they improved upon their performances from the previous week. There were seven teams in the competitive 5K (3.1 mile) field run over the Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bourbonnais.
Leading the charge was Ashley Shares (Stagg), who ran 20:29 to finish 11th. She was followed across the line by Alejandra Dongo (Bremen) in 51st in 24:27, Marisela Rodriguez in 54th, in 24:32, Cristina Dongo in 62nd in 27:15, and Melissa Janda in 64th in 27:32. There were 67 runners who crossed the finish line.
"For everyone but Cristina, this was their first 5K collegiate race, and under the circumstances they did well," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They again learned from their first 5K race, and they will continue to get better. We're a little banged up. Alejandra and Marisela are nursing some nagging soreness, and we have a couple of girls who are still out with injuries."
The Cyclones return to action on Friday at the Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships at Illinois State University. "This will be a very fast field on a fast course. I'm looking forward to seeing what these kids can do," Horstmeyer said.
September 8, 2009
It was truly a learning experience for the Cyclones as they helped open the University of Wisconsin's new cross country course on Sept. 4. The women finished fourth out of four teams on the rolling, grassy course that Badgers built this year to get it ready for the 2009 season.
"This was the first collegiate race for all but one of our women," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "And to be a part of Wisconsin's storied cross country history is a tremendous experience for them. This was something special. We are pleased we had an opportunity to be a part of the inaugural race."
Ashley Shares (Stagg) was the first Cyclones to traverse the 4K course and was followed by Alejandra Dongo (Bremen), Melissa Janda (Shepard), Marisela Rodriguez (Reavis), and Cristina Dongo (Bremen).
"It was hot, something they haven't been used to, and it was a small but very fast field," Horstmeyer said. "They have a lot of things to get worked out, so Friday was good experience for them. I think they learned a lot about preparing and racing at the college level."
September 3, 2009
All-Region IV team: Lauren Burke (Lockport)
Nov. 20, 2008
The NJCAA Division I Women's Cross Country Championship on November 8 provided one last opportunity for two second-year runners to perform well in their final appearance in a Cyclones uniform, and they didn't disappoint.
Lauren Burke (Lockport) was the first Cyclones to traverse the rolling 5K course in Spartanburg, South Carolina, finishing in 135th place in 21:48. Monica Gelezauskas (Lockport) followed her teammate across the finish line placing 162nd in 22:40. There were 246 competitors in the national race.
"I was pleased with their performance and thrilled for them that their hard work all season was rewarded. Very few runners at any college level have an opportunity to compete on the national stage, and for them to do as well as they did makes it even more memorable. I am very proud of their accomplishment and thrilled that they had this wonderful experience," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "To compete among the top junior college runners in such a strong field that includes a lot of international runners is something they can be very proud of, and I know they are. I wish them all the best."
Oct. 27, 2008
Oct. 20, 2008
The women's team claimed third place in the 2008 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Championship on Saturday, October 18, at Moraine Valley, placing two runners on the All-Conference team.
Waubonsee Community College won the women's title. Elgin Community College finished second and Prairie State College took fourth place.
Lauren Burke (Lockport) led the Cyclones over the 5K course with a fifth-place finish in 21:54 and Monica Gelezauskas (Lockport) finished seventh in 22:29. Both were named All-Conference. Rounding out the scoring were Ann Gelezauskas (Lockport) in 11th in 24:02, Cristina Dongo (Bremen) in 20th in 25:39, Marisol Ortiz (Argo) in 24th in 28:49, and Kelly Washington (Morgan Park) in 25th in 29:58. There were 26 runners in the field.
"The girls did a very good job. They stepped up to the challenge. Lauren was solid and Monica had her best time of the season as did Ann and Kelly," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They all continue to work hard, and they are seeing the results of their efforts."
Their last challenge of the season comes October 25 when they compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV Division I championship at Sauk Valley College, Dixon, with a chance to qualify for the national race November 8 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Oct. 13, 2008
Oct. 6, 2008
Sept. 29, 2008
The women's team finished the September race
schedule with its best outing of the year, recording best times and
finishing ninth of 10 teams at the Forester Invitational September 27.
Sept. 24, 2008
The women's team took another step or two in the right direction on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championships, hosted by Illinois State on the university's golf course
"The effort continues to be there," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They are working hard in practice, and it's paying off for them in races. Considering the fact that they competed against NCAA Division I schools, they did a good job."
Lauren Burke (Lockport) again was the first Cylone to cross the
finish line. She came in 139th place.) Monica Zelegauskas (Lockport) finished
next in 175th followed by Ann Zelegauskas (Lockport) in 202nd, Cristina Dongo
(Bremen) in 209th, and Kelly Washington (Morgan Park) in 232nd. The team
finished 23rd of 25 teams.
Sept. 17, 2008
"The effort was there, and that's what we want right now," said coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They understand that they need to work hard, and they're doing that."
Lauren Burke (Lockport) again was the first Cyclones to cross the finishing line with a 75th place showing. Monica Zelegauskas (Lockport) finished next in 93rd followed by Ann Zelegauskas (Lockport) in 124th and Cristina Dongo (Bremen) in 147th. One hundred sixty women competed.
"The team has competed in three races, and each week, they learn more about what it takes to compete and what they need to get done in practice. They are coming along. I like their progress," Horstmeyer said.
Sept. 9, 2008
After two races (the Elmhurst College Earlybird on August 29 and North Park University's Ted Hedstrand Invite on September 6), the women's team is making strides.
"I'm pleased with the direction we're going. Their work ethic is tremendous," said Coach Mark Horstmeyer. "They will get better. I think by late next month for conference and regionals it will all come together for them. In the meantime, they continue to work hard and maintain a positive attitude."
The Cyclones finished 11th of 12 teams at Elmhurst and sixth of seven teams at North Park.
Lauren Burke and Monica Gelezauskas are leading the way with Ann Gelezauskas next followed by Cristina Dongo. Marisol Ortiz and Kelly Washington round out the team scoring, although both are having to deal with knee and leg injuries. "We will need them, so we have to get them healthy. They are really showing grit and determination," Horstmeyer said.
August 29, 2008
The 2008 season looks to be filled with challenges, but if hard work, determination, and positive attitude are good indicators, then the Cyclones are up to the task. Four returnees and two newcomers will carry the load for Moraine Valley this fall.
"I am really pleased at how well the women are working so far. Our three returning runners― Lauren Burke (Lockport) and Ann and Monica Gelezauskas (Lockport)― are determined to improve their performances from last year. I think they have an excellent chance to do so," said Mark Horstmeyer, who has coached the women's team since its inception nine seasons ago.
The fourth returning runner is Marisol Ortiz (Argo), who was injured all of last year and did not compete. She has the potential to turn in solid performances as long as she stays healthy. "Marisol is a good runner but unfortunately she has been plagued by a series of leg problems that have hampered her progress. We hope for good things from her this year," Horstmeyer said.
Although new to the team, Cristina Dongo (Bremen) is no stranger to running. She competed in cross country and track in high school, and knows what she has to do to get prepared to race this fall. "Cristina is working very hard and that hard work will pay off for her. She is determined to do well," Horstmeyer said.
Kelly Washington (Morgan Park) also is new to the team this year and new to running. "She started running in early spring to stay in shape for basketball during the off-season, and she has kept at it," Horstmeyer said. "I am really pleased at how hard she works and her great attitude. I think she may surprise herself by the end of the season when it counts."
Horstmeyer will be assisted by two former Cyclones this year― Andrea Zylius and Matt Swiatkowski― both of whom are marathoners. Zylius is focusing on strength and conditioning and Swiatkowski is leading the workouts. "Matt was a two-time all-conference and all-region selection. Andrea actually started her running career with us. Both have been a great help in getting our kids ready and they will contribute greatly to our success this fall," Horstmeyer said.
Hard work is a hallmark for this year's team. "They will have to work extremely hard, keep up their determination and focus on improving every day. Eventually, it will pay off for them. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can do by conference in late October," Horstmeyer said.