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Sept. 11, 1997

Wildcat Men's Cross Country Team Kicks Off Season

Villanova, Pa. - The 1997 men's cross country schedule gets underway Saturday, Sept. 13, 1997, when the Wildcats compete in the Lafayette Invitational, held on the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Villanova will be one of 12 collegiate squads that make up the Lafayette Invitational field. In addition to host Lafayette, LaSalle and Princeton will also be in attendance and should make for some stiff competition for the Wildcats. Big East Conference rivals Syracuse and Seton Hall will also make their debuts on Saturday. Alfred, West Chester, East Stroudsburg, Bloomsburg, Moravian, Monmouth, and Millersville round out the field.

"We are very excited about getting the season started," said Associate head coach Jim Tuppeny. "Lafayette has a super course, and Julio Piazza, the meet director, does an outstanding job and always puts on a first-class meet. We like running there, even though you have to avoid the airplanes. There is an airport right next to the course, and you can practically jump up and touch the planes as they go by.

Princeton should be the favorite to win this meet, although LaSalle has a strong team and could make a run at it. Lafayette should also contend. We're hoping to finish middle of the pack.

The Wildcats will be virtually starting from scratch this season, as four impact runners from a season ago have departed. Coulby Dunn, a junior from Greentown, Pa., and Brock Butler, a junior from West Chester, Pa., have valuable experience, and should be strong for the Wildcats.

Scott Tantino, a sophomore from North Wales, Pa., will also be counted on by Tuppeny this season.

"We have a completely new team," Tuppeny said. "We have adopted a wait and see attitued with this squad. The one thing I'm sure about is that each one of these guys will give 110 percent when they are competing. That's all you can ask for."