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Vanderbilt Cross Country Begins 1998 Season

(Sept. 2) -- The Vanderbilt cross country teams begin their 1998 campaign Saturday at the University of Southern Indiana Invitational in Evansville, Ind. The Commodores will compete against Southern Indiana, Southern Illinois and Carbondale with the women's race beginning at 9 a.m. and the men's race at 10 a.m.

The women's squad is looking to improve on its fourth-place finish last year at the SEC championship. The Commodores enter the season ranked No. 5 in the South Region and No. 4 in the SEC Coaches' Preseason Poll.

"I feel we can be a top-20 team," head coach Paul Arceneaux said. "We recruited some top-notch girls and that should give us more depth. That extra depth and more team experience should propel us to the NCAA Championships."

Leading Vanderbilt's attempt at its first trip to the national meet will be junior Stacey Carpenter, junior Kim Trenbath and sophomore Kelly Howisey. The freshman class will be led by Colleen Byrne, Kylene Kownurko and Lauren Price.

The women's squad will be hampered at least for the early part of the season by the loss of sophomore Pamela Johnson. Johnson, who was Vanderbilt's only representative at last year's NCAA Championships, is suffering from pleurisy

The Vanderbilt men are looking to make a splash this year and they have veteran leadership on their side. Seniors Ted Perrault and Charlie Keller, along with juniors David Scales, Mark Rosenthal and Michael Brookshire, are poised to form the core of this year's team.

"Perrault's progression really started last track season and he capped the spring by recording a 15:29 5,000 meters," Arceneaux said. "Keller has taken the initiative as a senior and looks to be intent on being a contributor to this year's squad."

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