Cross Country Team To Begin Season

San Jose State University's men's and women's cross country teams will begin their seasons this Saturday at the Sacramento State Invitational. The meet begins at 9:30 a.m. in Rocklin, Calif. The other school's scheduled to compete are Stanford, California, University of the Pacific and Nevada.

The Spartans are coached by Augie Argabright, in his seventh season as head coach.

Men's Outlook:

With four returning letterwinners and five freshmen, the men's team will have a great combination of experience and youth. The returnees include Trever Marca, MVP of the team the past two seasons, Matt Heard, Jason Blair and Will Crain. The list of freshmen include Jesse McLeod, Erik Wackenstedt, Brady Svilich, David Leon and Robbie Phillip.

Marca, says Argabright, "is the team's leader. His work ethic is second to none."

The Spartan coach expects Heard to have an outstanding season. "He has worked really hard this offseason and should be in the top five."

Blair, a 1999 letterwinner and a co-captain on this year's squad, was the top SJSU finisher at last season's Western Athletic Conference Championships. "Jason is a great leader and a tough runner," said Argabright.

Crain was also a letterwinner last season. "Will is going to surprise a lot of people this season," Argabright said. "He worked hard this offseason and should be in the top five."

The list of newcomers is led by McLeod, an all-state and all-region pick who finished 19th in the Footlocker National High School Championships. "Jesse can run with anyone in the WAC. He is tremendously talented," Argabright said.

Another talented freshman is Phillip, a five-time state champion in Hawai'i. "Robbie is very talented and could be one of our best runners by the end of the season," said Argabright.

Wackenstedt "has shown great promise in pre-season practices. He is very intense and focused," Argabright commented. "Brady (Svilich) has worked very hard this summer and is showing ;his potential thus far in the preseason. David (Leon) is as tough as nails."

Women's Outlook:

The Spartan women's team is coming off their most successful season ever, where they finished third at the WAC Championships and won three meets including the Women's National Meet.

The team returns four of its top five runners, including captains Ana Martinez and Janina Crain. Both earned second team all-WAC honors last year. Martinez placed eighth at the conference meet. "I expect Ana to be all-WAC this year. She is the hardest worker we have," Argabright said. Crain "can run with anyone in the WAC."

Also returning are Kim Nebeker and Johanna Ballentine, the team's fourth and fifth runners a year ago. "Kim finished one place off of the all-WAC teams last season. This year she should make it," said Argabright. "Johanna is our only senior and is a great leader on and off the course."

The returners are joined by top recruits Megan Stone and Laurel Stender. Stone, a transfer from American River College, "should be in our top five. She has looked great in preseason workouts," Argabright said. Stender, MVP of the Barstow (Calif.) High School team the last two seasons, "has great potential. She is showing tremendous talent in preseason workouts," said Argabright.