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Cross Country Season Outlook

Aug. 29, 2012

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EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette cross country team opens its season on Friday when the team travels to Bethlehem, Pa. to participate in the Lehigh Invitational. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The 2012 men's team is led by senior co-captains William Volkmann and Dayne Mosconi. Mosconi and Volkmann were both IC4A qualifiers in 2011.

"Will had a breakthrough season last year," Head Coach Julio Piazza said. "That being said, I believe he has the potential for even more this season."

Mosconi, who is coming off a successful track and field season as a member of the 4x800 relay team, will look to take more of a leadership role on the team this season.

Classmate Chris Parker will look to build off a school-record finish in the 800m during the 2011-12 indoor track season with a time of 1:49:83. He will be a top-five runner for the Leopards this year.

Piazza is looking to his underclassmen to contribute in 2012. Sophomore Andrew Haff was injured for a majority of his freshman year, but Piazza believes he has his head in the right place.

"Andrew came in with great credentials and knows what it takes to be successful," Piazza added.

Classmate Andrew Warshauer also missed time during his freshman campaign due to injury, but Piazza said his talent and strong work ethic will prove vital to the team this season.

Two of the newest Leopards, Matt McMurray and Thomas Day, are predicted to make an immediate impact during their first year on College Hill.

The women's side consists of only two seniors, Julissa Muschlitz and Kelly Callahan, and will look to underclassmen to fill key roles in 2012. Muschlitz and junior Rose Willey will be expected to lead this unit as co-captains.

"Julissa is a veteran," Piazza said. "She's a great leader for us and is another who knows what it takes to be a winner."

"Rose had a great summer," Piazza said of Willey. "She's had to deal with injuries, but she's capable and ready for a great season."

Junior Elizabeth Troisi also suffered from the injury bug in her sophomore season, but Piazza hopes her talent and hard work will have a contagious effect on this year's squad.

Sophomores Grace Watters and Simran Bains have been great surprises to the coaching staff and will contribute as well.

Piazza regards the incoming freshmen as an excellent class. Stephanie Benko, Zoe Nagasing and Anchorage, Alaska native Katherine Culver will make an immediate impact this season.

The main goal for the group as a whole in 2012 is to improve upon their Patriot League Championship finish from a year ago. Both the men and women finished seventh in 2011.

Following the Lehigh Invitational on Friday, the Leopards will return to Bethlehem on Sept. 14 for the Lafayette/Lehigh Dual Meet. On Sept. 28, Lafayette will travel to Bethlehem for a third time to participate in the Paul Short Invitational before returning home for the Leopard Invitational on Oct. 13. The Patriot League Championships are set for Oct. 27 in Hamilton, N.Y.