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Women's cross country team growing
Twice. That’s how many times the Pratt women’s cross country team has yielded a five member team at the region meet over the past 11 years. Ten. That’s how many women have signed to run cross country for the Beavers this coming fall. Pratt recently added five new faces to their growing distance program.
Grasiela Navarro (Fort Worth, Texas) chose Pratt over numerous other offers throughout the country. Her 5:21 1600 time at her district meet is nine seconds faster than the current record at Pratt. Navarro looks to contend for the top spot next fall, holding an 18:53 personal best 5K. Upon hearing the news that Navarro was signing with Pratt, Coach Acuna, her high school coach, exclaimed, “Wow! There’s going to be some upset coaches here in Texas.” Navarro almost passed over Pratt. She’s a fierce competitor and wanted someone else on the team to push her.
Coach Adler admitted, “I kind of gave up the dream of signing Grasiela because I wasn’t sure I would be able to bring in a runner with personal best times as good or better. Then, I met Alice.”
Alice Chesiny is from Eldoret, Kenya. With Eldoret being more than 8,000 feet above sea level, it is a hotbed for talented distance runners. Her personal best 5:01 in the 1500 is two seconds faster than the current record at Pratt. “Grasiela, Alice, and Lisa (Richins) will give Pratt an outstanding 1-2-3 punch,” commented Adler. In cross country, however, you’re only as strong as your fourth and fifth runners.
One of those runners looking to claim a top five spot is Emilynn Robinson (Gruver, Texas). She was part of Gruver’s 2011 state championship team and was the team’s number one runner at the 2013 state meet, finishing 7th in the state with a time of 12:38 for the two-mile trek. “Emilynn comes to Pratt as a proven champion. I’m looking for her to rise up when it matters the most: October and November,” asserted Adler.
Divina Flores (Fort Smith, AR) has steadily improved her track times over the past three years and showed great potential last fall, running cross country for the first time. Coach Adler praised both Divina and her coach: “Her coach (Jeff Lewis) has done a wonderful job developing Divina as a runner. When Divina visited Pratt, I told her, ‘Even if you don’t run for Pratt, please run in college.’ That’s the type of excitement surrounding the continued improvement of Flores.”
Cyra Fenceroy (Omaha, NE) is a hurdler and mid-distance runner, but she has accepted the new challenge of cross country at Pratt. Her 300 hurdle time of 49.5 and 400 time of 1:02 will make her a tremendous asset throughout the track season. Coach Adler is hoping with a little endurance training, her track speed will carry over onto the cross country course. “I have a lot of respect for 400 runners willing to give cross country a try. Cyra is dedicated to the sport and will be a perfect fit for our team,” commented Adler.
One. The amount of runners on the women’s cross country team at the start of the 2013 season. Limitless. The amount of potential for the 2014 team.