EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana Men’s and Women’s Cross Country opens the 2019 season Friday when the Screaming Eagles host the Stegemoller Classic at Angel Mounds. The women’s four-kilometer race begins at 5:50 p.m., while the men’s 6k is slated for a 6:20 p.m. start time.
Other teams joining USI include Bellarmine University, Maryville University, the University of Indianapolis and Trevecca Nazarene University.
USI’s men begin the year ranked No. 11 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association Preseason Top 25 rankings; while the women’s squad starts the year ranked No. 16.
Two-time reigning Great Lakes Valley Conference champion Austin Nolan (Evansville, Indiana) and sophomore All-American Titus Winders (Mansfield, Tennessee) return to lead the Eagles’ men, while senior Hope Jones (Cumberland, Indiana) and junior Jennifer Comastri (Indianapolis, Indiana) return to lead the women’s squad in 2019.
Nolan and Winders finished first and second, respectively, at the GLVC Championship last year, leading the Eagles to their 14th consecutive conference title and 15th in the last 16 years. Winders went on to finish first at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships, while the 30th-place finish at last year’s national meet netted him All-America honors in his rookie campaign.
Jones, who sat out last fall, earned second-team All-America honors on the track last spring, while Comastri was fifth at last year’s GLVC meet.
USI Cross Country Notes:
Men by the numbers. USI’s men return its top 10 runners from the 2018 season and will get a boost from the return of senior Darin Lawrence (Indianapolis, Indiana), a two-time All-GLVC and All-Midwest Region honoree…in total, the Eagles have four All-Midwest Region competitors returning this year as well as seven All-GLVC honorees (not counting track & field honors).
Women by the numbers. The Eagles’ women return four of their top seven runners and will be aided by the return of Hope Jones. Comastri was USI’s top runner in all of its six meets a year ago, while Jones was a national qualifier as an individual in 2017.
Home-sweet-home. The Stegemoller Classic is one of three meets the Eagles host this year. USI also hosts the GLVC Championships October 26 before hosting the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships November 9.
In the family. USI Cross Country has a pair of siblings on the team. Senior Javan Winders (Mansfield, Indiana), an All-American on the track, is the older brother of Titus Winders; while sophomore Katherine Dombroski (Noblesville, Indiana) is the older sister to freshman men’s runner Nick Dombroski (Noblesville, Indiana).