GW Cross Country to Open 2012 Campaign Saturday at Seagull Opener

Senior Julia Weir

Aug. 31, 2012


WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's and women's cross country teams will open the 2012 season on Saturday morning at Salisbury University's Sea Gull Opener at Winter Place Park in Salisbury, Md.

Racing begins at 9:45 a.m. and will feature an 8,000-meter men's course and a 6,000-meter women's course.

Both teams, under the direction of second-year head coach Terry Weir, carry a roster of 11 student-athletes into the season as they attempt to improve upon their respective finishes at last season's Atlantic 10 Championship.

The men's team returns seven letterwinners in addition to four newcomers while the women's team welcomes two newcomers to a stable of nine returnees.

Women's Outlook

The senior trio of Julia Weir, Heather Stevens and Julianna Stern will lead the George Washington women's cross country team into the 2012 season.

With six underclassmen on the roster, the seniors are expected to provide veteran leadership as the Colonials vie for the program's first ever Atlantic 10 Team Championship.

Weir is coming off her most successful campaign at GW following two top-10 finishes in her junior season. The Florham Park, N.J. native has improved upon her time and finish in each of her first three A-10 Championship appearances and is the top harrier for the Colonials as they enter the 2012 campaign.

Stevens also has improved in each of her first three seasons at GW. She notched a career-best 13th-place finish at last season's Mount St. Mary Duals and, along with Weir and Stern, will serve as a veteran leader into the fall.



Junior Kelly Bartz was forced to sit out her sophomore season due to injury but is expected to be a contributor this season. The junior from Lake Oswego, Ore., appeared in four races in her freshman season, highlighted by a 51st-place finish at the Navy Invitational.

The sophomore duo of Kathryn Luker and Erica Halvorson each appeared in every meet in their debut season as freshman and are expected to elevate their game now that they have a full season of experience. Also returning is sophomore Aubrey Gunnels, who appeared in one meet last season and is expected to contribute consistently this season.

The Colonials will welcome a pair of freshman to the roster for the 2012 season in Caroline Wolfe and Katie Bishop.

Wolfe was the Most Valuable Player and an All-Conference, All-County and All-State selection as a senior at Hanover Park high school, the alma mater of teammate Julia Weir. She also ran the 1600 and 3200 meter events for the track team and is expected to be a regular contributor to the Colonials' team efforts this season.

Bishop also had an outstanding scholastic career as she helped Western Brach High School to the Virginia Girl's District regional and state championships while being an All-District and All-Region performer. She was also a Footlocker All-South team selection 2009 and 2010.

Men's Outlook

Following a difficult 2011 season which featured a rash of injuries, the George Washington men's cross country is committed to staying healthy and elevating the program to its first ever Atlantic 10 Team Championship.

GW returns seven letterwinners while welcoming a quartet of freshman into the fold in 2012 as the Colonials embark on a four-meet stretch leading up the Atlantic 10 Championship on Oct. 27 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Last season, the first under head coach Terry Weir, was a transitional season for the Colonials. Injuries prevented any harrier from competing in every meet and the Colonials had trouble establishing momentum in team meets. A healthy and re-energized roster, fresh off a promising spring season, has Coach Weir excited for the upcoming year.

Senior Alex Dadds is the longest tenured returning harrier, but was sidelined during his junior season with an injury. As the lone senior, he is expected to provide veteran leadership while rebounding from his injury and contributing to the Colonials' team efforts.

A trio of juniors - James Stern, Marco Siragusa and Jackson Carnes - rounds out the upperclassmen on the roster. Stern has appeared in seven races in his career while Carnes and Siragusa appeared in a combined five races in their first season of competition at GW.

Carnes, a transfer student from Atlantic 10 newcomer Butler, finished in 23rd place at his lone race last season (George Mason Invitational) and figures to be an able contributor with a full season under his belt. Siragusa ran in four races last season with his best finish coming at the Mount St. Mary's Duals (48th). Like his classmate Carnes, a full season of experience will help immensely.

The sophomore trio of John Perrino, Tyler Gillies and John-Louis Pane return for their second season as Colonials. Perrino and Gillies each appeared in a combined six meets last season while Pane will make his collegiate debut this fall.

Four freshmen round out the roster, each with a bevy of success at the scholastic level.

Ryan Tucker led his high school team, Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) to consecutive country championships and second-place finishes at the New Jersey State Championships. He was also a long-distance specialist for indoor and outdoor track, earning numerous All-Conference honors.

Roc Craven, a native of Providence, R.I., was an All-Division selection for cross country and indoor/outdoor track, while helping North Kingstown High School to the 2012 Outdoor Track State Championship.

Kyle Ames of Aurora, Colo., was a four-year state qualifier in both cross country and track at Smoky Hill High School, earning consecutive cross country individual city championships.

Rounding out the roster is Ben Kurtis, who was a two-year captain that helped Sehome High School (Wash.) to two state championships (2008, 2010).

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