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VU cross country ready to start 2019 season

VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University men’s and women’s cross country teams are handling final preparations before the beginning of the 2019 season on Sept. 6.

Men’s Team

The VU Men’s Cross Country team is looking to have success top to bottom with four returning sophomores; Logan Busz (Whitley, Ind.), Franklin Sanders (North Vernon, Ind.), Morne Scharnick (Gauteng, South Africa),  and Milan Todorovic (Belgrade, Serbia) and the addition of key freshmen; Maxwel Kiplagat (Iten, Kenya), and Manamanya Opiew (Indianapolis, Ind.).

VU Cross Country Coach Chris Gafner had this to say about his is coming together ahead of their first meet. “Everyone on the men’s team brings something to the table this season. We have a very strong top four group of Maxwel Kiplagat, Morne Scharnick, Milan Todorovic, and Manny Opiew. They work very well together, and their work ethic is contagious. They may be the strongest group of four that I have ever had the privilege to coach.”

“The 5-9 spots on the team are wide open at this point. Franklin Sanders has championship experience from the high school level and has been gaining strength after coming off an Achilles injury his freshman year. Nick Vogt (Cincinnati, Ohio) is a very strong runner who is coming off hernia surgery. Getting Franklin and Nick back to full strength is very important to our team success. Logan Busz shown solid improvement as a freshman and I feel he has the ability to continue improving and making an impact for the team.”

“David McCullough (Zionsville, Ind.) and Josh Hodge (Rushville, Ind.) are looking to transition from middle distance success to success on the cross country course. Both are great competitors and have a high ceiling. I see them making some waves later in the season.”

“I have very high expectations for our men’s team this season. Once we have everyone on the team fit and fully committed, we will make a lot of noise on the grass this season.”

Women’s Team

The VU Women’s team is looking to gain experience with a nearly all-freshmen roster. The only returning sophomore on the Trailblazers’ roster is Boonville, Ind. native Taylin Brandenberger.

VU is excited about the addition of key freshmen Meagan Moreno (Morton, Ill.), Kyra Young (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Vincennes Lincoln’s own Kaylee Lange.

Gafner expects to be competitive this season, while also gaining experience for the 2020 season.

“The women’s team is young, but also talented,” Gafner said. “Up front we are led by freshman Meagan Moreno. Meagan is extremely competitive and coachable. She leads by example every day.”

“Kyra Young and Kaylee Lange are our likely second and third runners. Both are very hard working and focused. As long as their training stays consistent, I believe that they will make tremendous progress this season.”

“Rounding out the top five are Emily Remsburg (Elnora, Ind.) and Taylin Brandenberger. Emily has already improved a great deal since we started team camp and I look for that to continue into the season. Taylin’s strengths are her speed and leadership. She is the darkhorse on the team and I believe her competitive spirit will lead her to success on the grass.”

“Shelby Woods (Bloomfield, Ind.) has been dealing with some injuries issues. She has been working diligently with the training staff to get healthy. Hopefully she will be 100 percent soon so that she can reach her full potential this season.”

“I view this year as a growth year for the women’s team. Right now, we are establishing a tradition of hard work and the pursuit of excellence. We have the opportunity to have a strong showing at the national level, but we need to improve our consistency to reach that goal.”

The Trailblazer men’s and women’s team will take to the course this on Sept. 6 when they take part in the Walt Crawford Open at Eastern Illinois University, with a start time of 4:45 p.m. EDT.

Follow Trailblazer athletics on Twitter @VUBlazerSports and Facebook

 

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Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics

JOHN R. RUMBLE, Assistant Sports Information Director
812-888-6831 office, VUAthletics@vinu.edu, jrumble@vinu.edu

MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University Life Reporter

812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, mmartinez@vinu.edu

VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom

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The Vincennes University Athletic Department hosts Play4Kay and raises donations for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund annually. VU Women’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Harry Meeks has a special connection to the late Yow, who was the longtime coach at North Carolina State. He had the pleasure of meeting her while he was an assistant coach at Western Carolina University. This left a lasting impression on him and made this cause important to him and the Trailblazers.

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The NJCAA announced on March 16 the cancellation of all spring sport competition and all upcoming basketball championships, effective immediately, due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

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