Outlook - Bemidji State excited about Cross Country Season
Friday, September 1, 2006
Bemidji , Minn. - Despite the loss of its top runner from a year ago in Christa Pribula (East Grand Forks, Minn.) due to graduation the Bemidji State cross country team has a roster full of experienced runners. After a disappointing fifth place finish at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Championships last season there are high expectations from ninth year coach Craig Hougen.

“I feel that there is good possibility that we can finish in the top three of the conference this season,” said Hougen. “I anticipate us to push the top teams in the conference this season.”

The team has one top 10 finishers from the NSIC Championships last season in senior Nicole Friend (International Falls, Minn.). Friend an all-confernece runner last season is going to be looked upon to be the leader for this years team. “Nicole ran all summer and she is in great shape and is hungry to do well,” said Hougen. Friend, who was on the women’s basketball team and track and field and cross country teams last season will just focus on cross country and track and field this season.

Sophomore runner Rebecca Hougen (Bemidji, Minn.) will also be looked upon to lead Bemidji State. Hougen finished in 41st place at the NSIC Championships last season with a time of 25:32:10. “I have been very happy with Rebecca, she has worked very hard in the pre-season and has done well,” said Hougen.

Needing to run well in addition to Friend and Hougen are returning letter winners sophomore Allison Osgood (St. Cloud, Minn.), Jillian Schuster (Brownton, Minn.) and Ali Judkins (Bemidji, Minn.).
At the NSIC Championships (Oct. 22) Schuster turned in a time of 25:04:30 for 33rd place, Judkins time was 25:45:52 for a 44th finish and Osgood finished with a time of 26:09:80 for a 54th finish at the conference championships.

BSU also lost a valuable runner from last year in Margaret Osgood as she is studying abroad in Wales this year.

Incoming freshman that could have an impact right away are Genna Ironi (Sauk Center, Minn.) and Sara Opdahl (Larimore, N.D.) “Genna is going to do very well for us this year,” said Hougen. “Sara has ran well this summer and is working hard right know and I look for her to be one of our scorers.”
“I believe the two true freshman will do very well this season,” said Hougen.

The meets during this season will help prepare the team for the NCAA Regionals, which BSU has competed at the last few years. “The Ron Pinn Run and the Roy Griak Invitational will help us see how we match up with other teams around our conference,” said Hougen. “The first two meets of the season will be tough competition for us, which will help us make improvements and get better.”

2006 Cross Country Schedule
Date Event Location

August 26 The Babe Run Bemidji, Minn.
September 8 Maple Ridge Run Bemidji, Minn.
September 9 Jack Pine Classic Bemidji, Minn.
September 15 Ron Pinn Run Grand Forks, N.D.
September 23 Roy Griak Invitational Minneapolis, Minn.
October 6 Jimmie Invitational Jamestown, N.D.
October 7 Homecoming Run Bemidji, Minn.
October 21 NSIC Championships St. Paul, Minn.
November 4 NCAA D-II North Central Regional Wayne, Neb.
November 18 NCAA Division Championships Pensacola, Fla.

2005 Cross Country Roster
Name YR. Hometown

Nicole Friend Sr. International Falls, Minn.
Rebecca Hougen So. Bemidji, Minn.
Genna Ironi Fr. Sauk Center, Minn.
Ali Judkins Sr. Bemidji, Minn.
Adonia McCormick Sr. Coleraine, Minn.
Kristen Mittness Fr. Morris, Minn.
Brittney Olson Jr. Maple Grove, Minn.
Sara Opdahl Fr. Larimore, N.D.
Allison Osgood So. St. Cloud, Minn.
Lydia Palma So. Ukiah, Calif.
Jillian Schuster Jr. Brownton, Minn.
Chandra Stanton So. Edina, Minn.