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Oct. 14, 1997

Villanova Cross Country to Run in Two Big Meets

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Both the Villanova men's and women's cross country teams will be in action this weekend, with the men competing at the IC4A Championships held at Van Cortlandt Park in New York on Oct. 18, and the women running in the Penn State Invitational on Oct. 19.

The men's meet will feature some of the most prestigious teams in the East and rates as one of the prolific meets of the year. Associate head coach Jim Tuppeny's squad won the IC4A team championship last season, as three Wildcats finished among the top 25 individual finishers. Returning from that title-winning squad is Coulby Dunn (Jr., Greentown, Pa.), who placed 32nd overall last season at the IC4As held at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. This year, Dunn has established himself as the Wildcats' No. 1 runner. In the No. 2 spot for Villanova is Scott Tantino (So., North Wales, Pa.) who did not compete the last time out due to a hamstring pull. He is slated to return this weekend.

Tuppeny rates teams such as Bucknell, Notre Dame, Princeton, Iona, William & Mary, and Dartmouth as the toughest in the field.

"Our times should be faster than they were at the Paul Short Invitational," Tuppeny said. "The Van Cortlandt course has been completely refurbished and is much faster than it has been in the past. We're excited about trying the new course out and prepping ourselves for the Big East Championships in two weeks. This meet should be an excellent barometer for us."

The Wildcat women will compete for the second-consecutive week at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday. Villanova is coming off a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Pre-Meet, held on Oct. 11 at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. Head coach John Marshall's squad boasted three runners in the top 10 of the individual race, with Carrie Tollefson (Jr., Dawson, Minn.), placing second overall, Kristine Jost (Jr., Kent Island, Md.) finishing in the third spot and Carmen Douma (So., Cambridge, Ontario) placing sixth.

"The Penn State meet will serve as an opportunity for our young ladies to get accustomed to this course, the same course that the regionals will take place on," Marshall said. "It's very important for them to learn the ins and outs of the course and adjust to the atmosphere. The competition will be excellent, and will challenge our athletes mentally more than physically."

Scheduled to run this weekend at Penn State is national power Arizona, as well as Florida, Wake Forest and William & Mary.