UNLV Ready For Season Opener
Sept. 4, 2009
LAS VEGAS - UNLV cross country opens its 2009 schedule on Saturday, competing in the 25th annual Fullerton Invitational, which is being hosted by Cal State Fullerton and will be held on the Fullerton golf course.
The Rebels and Titans will be in a field that includes close to 30 teams and runners will compete on a 6k course that is predominately flat, with some rolling sections on what are the front nine holes of the course.
It will be a mostly new squad that takes to the course on Saturday night, as two letterwinners will be joined by a influx of talent, with no less than 11 newcomers on the squad in what is head coach Tony Houchin's fourth season at the helm. The new talent has the head man optimistic about the upcoming year.
"There are a ton of newcomers and for the first time during my tenure, we have some depth," Houchin said. "Because of that there will be a lot of competition on our team, and there should be significant improvement by everyone as they are pushed throughout the year by their teammates."
The two returning letterwinners are senior Bailey Kuestermeyer and sophomore Amber Throop, who both ran at last year's Mountain West Conference Championships and will provide leadership to the newcomers. Kuestermeyer was a four-time letterwinner on the UNLV swim team as well and last season was her first on the cross country team.
Houchin expects a large number of newcomers to come in right away and make an impact, and among them are junior transfers Lucy Beuster and Shannon Simpson, and freshmen Courtney Allen and Lauren Petersen.
There will be 11 runners wearing Scarlet and Gray on Saturday night for the Rebels, and the 6k race is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. (PT), with the men's 8k race to follow at 6:30 p.m.
UNLV will run in four regular-season meets this year, all of them in California, before competing in the 2009 MWC Championships on Oct. 31 in Provo, Utah.