Cross Country Teams Head to Big South Championships
Courtesy: UNCABulldogs.com
Release: 10/29/2010
Emma Bussard has been Asheville's top runner three times this year
Courtesy: UNC Asheville
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's and women's cross country teams head to Radford today to take part in the 2010 Big South Conference championships that will be held at Blacksburg Middle School Course on Saturday. The women's 5K race starts at 10:30 a.m., while the men's 8K event at 11:30 a.m.

Both teams have high hopes to finish in the top four in this year's championship meet.

"We're going to have run very well and have some things fall into place but we could finish in the top four," commented fourth-year Asheville coach Jesse Norman. "We've had great workouts the past few weeks. Hopefully, we're peaking at the right time."

The women's squad finished sixth in last year's event but have a chance to move up in 2010. Sophomore Melanie Kulesz leads the Asheville effort. She earned all-conference honors in 2009 with a 10th-place finish. Kulesz was held out early in the season but ran well at Charlotte two weeks ago. Another Bulldog to watch out for is junior Emma Bussard. She has been Asheville's top runner in three different races this season.

"The women's team has had a nice year and having Melanie back should only make us stronger on Saturday," declared Norman. "Emma has been consistent all season plus our freshmen have been making steady progress."

On the men's side, the Bulldog harriers finished fifth last year. Asheville didn't have anyone make all-conference but had a good group effort in last season's race. The Bulldogs have been a little up-and-down in 2010 and have had four different runners lead the pack for Asheville in each race.  Jay Barringer has been the most consistent Bulldog this year and he was Asheville's top runner at Charlotte two weeks ago. Carlos Lopez was the Bulldogs top runner at Western Carolina to start the season. Eliud Chirchir led Asheville at the Clemson Invitational. Freshman Tyler Michael paced the Bulldogs at the Big South Preview last month on the same course the teams will run on Saturday.

"Our men's team has had their moments this year and hopefully we can put it all together on Saturday," commented Norman.

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