TEMPE – The Arizona State University men’s and women’s cross country team will open the 2013 season on Saturday as the squad heads north to Flagstaff, Ariz., to take part in the annual George Kyte Classic.
The men’s 8,000-meter run is slated to get underway at 1:30 p.m. PT with the women’s 5,000-meter race scheduled for a 3 p.m. start time. The races will take place at Buffalo Park.
Returning from last year's competition are Arizona State University, Dixie State College, Grand Canyon University, Pima Community College and University of Arizona. The ASU women finished second last year led by Shelby Houlihan who finished first individually, while the men finished third as a team. Houlihan used the competition as a precursor to her All-American season in both cross country and track and field.
Houlihan won’t be in action this weekend, however, as the Sun Devil women will focus on getting some of the newcomers into action with four freshmen slated to compete as Miranda Kewley, Jenna Maack, Sydney Mierau and Chelsey Totten are set to get their first Division I action.
Returners Shaina Corbin, Tory Haberman, Payton Schutte and Kayla Springford will also compete point-scorers from last season Macy Bricks and Adriana Olivas will sit the opener out with Houlihan.
The Arizona State men’s squad won’t be holding back, however, with the team’s ‘A’ lineup scheduled to compete. That means fans will be greeted to their first sighting of true freshman Bernie Montoya, who comes to Arizona State out of Cibola High School in Yuma, Ariz., as one of the most highly regarded prospects in program history.
The Arizona Gatorade Boy’s Track Athlete of the Year for 2013 will make is debut in the Maroon and Gold next to a slew of impressive returners that includes point-scorers Ryan Herson, Garrett Baker-Slama and Steven Schnieders from last season. The relatively young squad features just three seniors in Schnieders, Kevin Rayes and Garrett Seawell but 11 student-athletes labeled as freshman or sophomore.
This year marks the 33rd running of the annual George Kyte Classic at Flagstaff's Buffalo Park. The meet is named after the late Dr. George Kyte, professor emeritus of history at NAU. Dr. Kyte was a longtime supporter of NAU athletics, track and field and cross country in particular. The event was run with Dr. Kyte in attendance until 2004.