FROSTBURG, MD -
The Frostburg State men’s and women’s cross country programs continued their dominance of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in 2002, as both teams captured their fifth league titles in the conference’s six-year history.
Now in his third year as head coach, Randy Lowe is looking for his squads to take another step forward and improve their positions at the regional and national ranks in 2003.
"We’re very proud of the success we’ve had in the AMCC, and now we’re looking to jump to the national level," said Lowe, last year’s AMCC Coach of the Year on both the men’s and women’s sides. "Following the appropriate lifestyle will be the key; we need to make healthy choices outside of running in terms of proper nutrition and rest."
The Bobcat men are shooting for their third straight AMCC title and aim to continue their climb at the NCAA Mid-East Regional Championships. After placing 20th two years ago, FSU moved up to 15th last season. A deep and talented squad could propel the Bobcats into the top 10.
"We’ve got 20 runners on the men’s team, which is the biggest group we’ve had since I’ve been here," said Lowe. "We’re really starting to develop, and I think we have a shot at moving up as many as five places at the NCAA regionals."
Lowe will look to a solid core featuring junior Mike Replogle (Union Bridge, Md./Francis Scott Key) and sophomores Sid Bittinger (Midland, Md./Westmar) and Ed May (Bryantown, Md./La Plata). Each earned All-AMCC honors in 2002 after strong performances at the conference championship meet.
Replogle, one of this season’s team co-captains, was the AMCC runner-up in 28:40 last year, while May earned AMCC Newcomer of the Year honors after placing third in 28:41. Bittinger, another team co-captain, finished fourth in 28:43.
"Mike, Sid and Ed have looked very good during the preseason," said Lowe. "I know the three of them are aiming for all-region honors, and I feel that’s definitely possible."
Lowe expects several newcomers to provide excellent depth.
Former high school teammates Scott Yanus (Gaithersburg, Md./Damascus) and Andrew Watson (Gaithersburg, Md./Damascus) have been impressive early. Yanus is making his presence felt already and is battling with the upperclassmen, while Watson is pushing the field as well.
Freshmen Andrew Parker (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) and Stephen Forsha (Rockville, Md./Magruder) should also be significant contributors and have been nice surprises for Lowe so far.
Junior Jonathan Masse (Cumberland, Md./Fort Hill) and sophomore Ron Lipscomb (Avilton, Md./Northern Garrett) return after earning All-AMCC honors last year and will add depth and experience. Masse placed sixth at the AMCC Championships in 29:08, while Lipscomb was seventh in 29:29.
While the men’s team boast a veteran core, the Bobcat women return just two runners from 2002 and will turn to several newcomers to help defend their AMCC title.
"It’s going to be a whole new ballgame this year," Lowe said about his women’s squad. "We’re basically starting over with a freshman-laden roster."
Senior captain Beth Sauder (Oakland, Md./Southern Garrett) returns after earning All-AMCC honors after an eighth-place finish in 26:15 at the conference championships. She is expected to be FSU’s No. 3 runner.
"Beth is a mature hard worker who will provide great leadership," said Lowe. "Our young runners are very fortunate to have her as a captain."
Sophomore Carolyn Kilkus (Rockville, Md,/Richard Montgomery) also garnered All-AMCC honors last season after finishing sixth at the conference meet in 26:06.
Bonnie Axman (Burke, Va./Robinson) headlines a solid group of five freshmen. She has already established herself as FSU’s top runner and has a very bright future ahead of her.
Fellow freshmen Michelle Carlquist (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty), Emily Cosner (Oakland, Md./Southern Garrett), Sheila Kurtz (Thurmont, Md./Boonsboro) and Tiffany McPhatter (Lanham, Md./Central) will look to make immediate contributions as well.
With such a young roster, the Bobcats could have difficulty defending their AMCC title. FSU will face stiff challenges from Penn State Behrend and Penn State Altoona, who each own veteran squads.
Both the Bobcat men’s and women’s teams open their seasons Saturday at Shippensburg.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303