Cross country opens 2010 season with JU Short Course Duals on Friday
The JU men’s & women’s cross country teams will start down the beaten trail towards the A-Sun Championships on Friday as the Dolphins compete in the JU Short Course Duals at the old JU golf course.

The women will try to win the meet for the third straight year starting at 6 p.m., while the men look to build on their strong 2009 season when they round out the event at 6:25 p.m.

“We are excited to get the season started,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “This home competition is the first check point on our way to the A-Sun Championships in late October. For those athletes competing, it will be an opportunity to assess our current level of fitness.””

The women enter the meet as the top ranked team in the A-Sun coaches poll and eighth on the USTFCCCA South Region list. JU returns six runners from last year’s squad that won the program’s first conference championship and posted a school-best ninth place finish at the NCAA South Regional.

Newcomers Maycee Dioneda, Bienna Freeman, Alicia Gard-Kaminkow and Bailee Hedstrom will join veterans Morgan Keel, Kelli Midden and Amalia Vogler for the race on Friday. Anastasia Fokina, Susanne Klungtveit, Svenja Meyer and Joane Pierre will wait to open their racing seasons in two weeks.

The full men’s squad will compete on Friday in hopes of carrying over the momentum they built last season.

Senior Andrew Maedel leads of group of four returners for the Dolphins in 2010. As a junior, Maedel was the Dolphins’ top finisher in all five meets. He won the JU Short Course Duals with a time of 17:38.2 and placed sixth at the Invitational with a time of 16:16.22. Maedel battled through a foot injury at the A-Sun Championships to record a time of 29:16.