The Lane Community College women’s cross country team is looking to build on a solid ending to their 2013 season, in which the Titans took third place at the Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships in Battle Ground, Wash.
The Titans’ top four runners from that championship race return, including sophomore All-American Katy Potter, who led the Titans with a second place finish at the championships.
“With some of the returners that we have this season, I feel that we can have one of the better teams in the conference,” Lane head coach Mike Blackmore said.
In their first meet of the season, the Titans traveled to Monmouth, where they participated in the 4200-meter Ash Creek Invitational. The Titans finished fifth out of eight schools with 136 team points. Sophomore Nicole Maurmann led the Titan attack finishing in 17th place with a time of 15:31.6 and was followed closely by Potter in 18th place.
Maurmann, who had a breakout track season for the Titans last spring, competed in the IAAF U.S. Junior Championships at Hayward Field in July, where she ran against the nation’s top athletes. Maurmann believes the experience helped her prepare for the season.
“Even though I didn’t race particularly well at juniors, it was a great experience for me as a runner,” Maurmann said. “I got to run with runners like Mary Kane. It was just an amazing experience.”
Maurmann entered the winner’s circle once again in the second race of the season at the 21st Annual Northwest Classic hosted by Lane on Sept. 19. She finished in a time of 19:39, narrowly ahead of sophomore teammate Ali Cross, to help the Titans to a team victory.
“I felt really good. Alli and I had a plan to stick together and she helped me keep my pace up throughout the race,” Maurman said.
Cross and Maurmann have made up a dynamic partnership for the Titans this season.
“Nicole and I are great running partners; we feed off of each other and give each other strength and encouragement,” Cross said.
After the Northwest Classic, the Titans moved on to the pivotal NWAC cross country preview, held on the same course as the championships in Battle Ground, Wash.
The Titans produced several strong performances by Cross, Maurmann and Potter for second place and a 53 team points total. Cross finished the event in second place with a season best time of 18:58, 23 seconds behind winner, freshman Georgia Glovatsky of Mount Hood Community College.
“Battle Ground was my best race in a long time,” Cross said. “To have it be against everyone in our conference made it even better.”
With only one two races left this season the Titans next race is at the George Fox Invitational in Brooks, Ore. on Oct. 11.
“I’m excited because we all did well last season since it’s a fast course so as long as we stick together I think we can have a good finish,” Maurmann said.