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Sept. 23, 1997

Women's Cross Country Team Makes Debut; Men in Action at Penn State

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova women's cross country team will make its 1997 debut this Saturday, Sept. 27 at Iona College. The Wildcat women boast two returning All-Americans in Kristine Jost (Jr., Kent Island, Md.) and Carrie Tollefson (Jr., Dawson, Minn.). Jost placed fourth at last year's national meet, with Tollefson right behind her in the No. 5 spot. The Wildcat men's team, will compete in its second meet of the season at the Spiked Shoe Invitational, held on the campus of Penn State University.

Second at last year's NCAA Championships, Marshall expects big things from Tamieka Grizzle (So., Bronx, N.Y.) and Geraldine McCarthy (Fr., Listowel, Ireland). Carmen Douma (So., Cambridge, Ontario) also returns for the Wildcats, and should be a strong third runner for head coach John Marshall.

Iona College will host the Invitational, that will take place at Van Cortlandt Park, the site of the 1997 Big East Championships. This meet will serve as a tune up for us, said Marshall. We have an extremely difficult schedule this year with the NCAA Pre-Meet and Penn State Invitational, and this meet will get us ready.

Marshall has announced, too, that two runners he expected to have in action this season will not be competing. Ann McGranahan (Fr., Pensacola, Fla.) will redshirt the 1997 cross country season after withdrawing from school and returning home due to medical reasons. McGranahan will return to Villanova for the indoor and outdoor 1998 seasons. In addition, Jurga Marcinkevicuite, an All-American in 1997, has exhausted her eligibility.

The Villanova men will compete this weekend at the 19th Annual Spiked Shoe Invitational, held at the 5,000m Penn State Golf Course. The meet will feature nearly 300 runners from 13 men's and women's college teams. The host Nittany Lions are the five-time defending champions of the meet, and have claimed the last three individual titles.

Associate head coach Jim Tuppeny's squad is coming off a second-place finish at the Lafayette Invitational on Sept. 13, with Coulby Dunn (Jr., Greentown, Pa Pa.) winning the individual title. Scott Tantino (So., North Wales, Pa.) and Dean Smith (So., Baltimore, Md.) also put in strong showings at the Lafayette meet, finishing third and fourth, respectively.

"This weekend's meet will be a learning process for us because the NCAA Regionals will also be held there later in the year," Tuppeny said. "We are looking forward to running this race due to the diversification of the competition."

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