Friday, September 5, 2008

Rudert leads women's cross

Issue date: 9/5/08

The women's cross country team opened its 2008 campaign last Friday with the unscored Jeff Drenth Memorial at University Park against Michigan State.

Senior Amanda Rudert led CMU with a sixth-place finish in 18 minutes, 53 seconds in the 5K race. Five other Central runners placed in the Top 15: junior Kelly McClure, sophomores Danielle Dakroub, Raeanne Lohner Kylee Kubacki and senior Michelle Diverio.

"It went well," coach Karen Lutzke said of the season opener. "It could have gone better, but it definitely could have gone worse. We had some good performances and we have people that need to step it up."

Friday's race also was the season opener for the Spartans, a team that finished last season ranked No. 5 in the nation.

"Michigan State a really good team that has a lot of national-caliber athletes," Lutzke said. "We have a lot of good athletes too, and I was pleased overall with how we did."

One of the bright spots on a day that was very bright, very sunny, and very hot was the return of Diverio from injury.

"She's been banged up a little bit, so I'm really impressed with how she came back and moved herself up in the race," Lutzke said.

Diverio finished 15th with a time of 19:40.

Lutzke said some things could have gone better, however.

"Closing the gap between our top five runners," Lutzke said. "You want your front runner up as high as they can be and you want No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 really close to them because five people score."

Rudert finished sixth, followed by McClure, Dakroub, Lohner and Kubacki placing 10th through 13th, respectively.

Central travels to East Lansing for an unscored meet in the Spartan Invitational on Sept.12, then takes on Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan in Kalamazoo on Sept. 19 for the first scored meet of the season.

Compiled by staff reporter Anthony Fenech.

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