Aug. 11, 2009 – The Truman women’s cross country team was picked fourth by MIAA coaches in the annual preseason poll. The Bulldogs being practice on Monday, August 17th and will open the season on Sept. 5th at the Miner Invitational hosted by Missouri University of Sciences and Technology.
Sophomore Michelle Gronemeyer (Creve Coeur, Mo./Parkway North) is the top returning runner from last year. Gronemeyer finished second on the team in all six races last year to senior all-American Danna Kelly.
Gronemeyer placed second overall at the 2008 Miner Invite and was ninth at the Brissman-Lundeen meet in Rock Island, Ill. Gronemeyer was 13th at the MIAA Championships as a freshman, earning honorable mention league honors and was 25th at the NCAA South Central regional in San Antonio, Texas.
Head Coach John Cochrane, who is entering his 30th season of coaching women’s cross country at Truman, believes that along with Gronemeyer, sophomores Dani Dell’Orco (St. Louis, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) and Anne Raterman (Florissant, Mo./Rosati-Kain) will be key to this year’s success.
“Dani (Dell’Orco) finished up her freshman track season strong and we hope she can carry that on this fall,” said Coach Cochrane. “Anna (Raterman) was third in the final four races last season including both the conference and regional meets.”
The lone senior on the squad, Fiona Williams (Danville, Iowa/Danville) competed in all six races last year and like Dell’Orco ended the spring track season on a high note.
The team will have three newcomers this season. Annie Crites (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves) along with sisters Cindy and Karen Grauel (Macon, Mo./Macon) who will hope to make an immediate impact on the team.
The Bulldogs will start on Sept. 5th in Rolla, Mo. and then run in Grinnell, Iowa on Sept. 12th and Rock Island, Ill. on Sept. 25 before taking a week off.
One of the strongest meets of the year will take place on Oct. 10th at the GLVC/MIAA Challenge in Rolla. Four schools from the MIAA (Southwest Baptist, Missouri Southern , Pittsburg State and Truman) will compete against four schools from the GLVC (Missouri S&T, Drury, Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky) in what is shaping up to be one of the top Division II meets of the year.
Truman will then compete at the conference championships on Oct. 24 in Emporia, Kan. before the NCAA Division II South Central Regional that takes place on Nov. 7th in Abilene, Texas.
MIAA Women’s Cross Country Coaches Poll:
1. Missouri Southern (6) - 62 pts
2. Pittsburg State (2) - 57 pts
3. Southwest Baptist (1) - 50 pts
4. Truman - 42 pts
5. Central Missouri – 36 pts
6. Fort Hays State – 30 pts
7. Emporia State – 30 pts
8. Northwest Missouri – 17 pts
9. Nebraska-Omaha – 8 pts