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Cross Country Opens 2013 Season Saturday At IPFW

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State cross country team opens its 2013 campaign at 10 a.m. Saturday, when it travels up I-69 for the IPFW Invitational at the Hefner Complex.

   Despite the loss of three key seniors, including MaryKate Mellen who paced the Cardinals in 13-straight meets over the past two seasons, Ball State head coach Randy Heisler believes this season’s squad could be one of the strongest in his tenure.

   “I am really excited for the season to begin,” Heisler said. “This is one of the most talented groups of distance runners we have had since I have been here. Obviously we have had some really good individuals in the past, but as a team, you are only as good as your fifth-place runner. This group has worked extremely hard and I am excited to see what happens at IPFW this weekend.”

   With the departure of its top runner from the past two seasons, the Cardinals will turn to sophomore Katelyn DeVries to help push the squad forward. DeVries was Ball State’s second-best runner in five meets last season and finished the year with a career-best 6K effort of 22:16 at the Great Lakes Regional.

   Junior Courtney Edon will also look to help push the squad, as she was BSU’s second-fastest runner in a pair of meets a year ago, including the Ball State Invite where she posted a career-best 5K time of 18:25.2.

   Other returning runners from last season’s squad are junior Caitlynn Edon and sophomore Danielle Dahl. Caitlynn Edon turned in one of her best performances of the season at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships with a career-fast 6K clocking of 24:14.5. Dahl, who competed in just two meets last year, posted a career-fast 5K time of 20:44.5 at the Ball State Invite.

   After missing last season due to injury, Madelyn Webster will also look to make her mark on the squad this season, while the team’s lone senior Esther Tirado will redshirt.

   Three members of last season’s track & field team will also be joining the squad to help with their training this season in Jordan Jenkins, Becca Kropf and Ashley Schmidgall.

   Also looking to make an impact on the course this season are freshmen Ericka Rinehart and Jordan Timmons.
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