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Baylor+s winningest sport set for new season Cross Country team prepares for this weekend+s BU Invitational

Sept. 11, 1996

Baylor's winningest sport set for new season

Cross Country team prepares for this weekend's BU Invitational

Jeff Andresen/The LariatMembers of the Baylor cross country team practice their running motions in the swimming pool at the Baylor Marina Tuesday afternoon.

By Michelle Ward

Lariat Sports Staff

With the creation of the Big 12 Conference, Baylor entered into one of the toughest cross country conferences in the nation.

The conference consists of such powerhouses as Iowa State and Colorado for the men and Kansas State and Colorado for the women.

'We are excited to enter the conference,' said Maria Zajvaldova, a Bratislava, Slovakia senior. 'We think we can compete.'

Zajvaldova is the lone senior on a young team set to begin their preliminary season in the Big 12. She is joined by three returning varsity members: Michelle Goertz, a Kingwood sophomore; Nancy Dollar, a San Clemente, Calif. sophomore; and Laura Bailey, an Aledo junior. Bailey, favored as one of the Bears' top runners last season, was sidelined throughout last season with an injury.

Along with the returning members, two newcomers will make their presence felt. Cecilia Jeverstam, a Goteborg, Sweden, freshman, and Karin Ernstrom, an Upplands Vasby, Sweden, freshman, will round out the squad for the Lady Bears.

' These two runners will be contributors to our team,' head coach Steve Gulley said.

The second half of the cross country team consists of the men's squad. The men also have four returning varsity members to help add experience to their young squad.

The two eldest members of the team are Keith Hensley, an El Cajon senior, and Robert Knight, a Baytown senior.

' I hope to bring the team together and have a role of leadership,' Hensley said of his senior status. 'I hope to keep us focused on our goals.'

The sophomore duo of Brandon Buhr, a Woodlands native, and Jonathan Lee from Palos Verdes, Calif., will begin their second season with the Bears.

Of the incoming freshmen on the squad, one in particular stands out among the newcomers. Ciaran Doogan, who was the All Ireland 18-and-under 1500m champion, will be an impact runner for the squad, Gulley said.

'There have been many talented runners from Baylor,' Doogan said. 'I hope that I can follow in their footsteps.'

The two squads have been primarily completing base work in their early season workouts. The team has been doing state running along with an occasional fartlek. A state run consists of running four to six miles, while a fartlek is continuous running at different speeds.

Their early season work will be put to the test this weekend as the Bears host the Baylor Invitational. The women will start at 8:30 a.m. running 3.1 miles. The men will follow at 9 a.m. running five miles.

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