Cross Country program announces new recruits

San Jose State University cross country coach Augie Augabright has announced the addition of five recruits to the men’s and women’s programs.

The women’s recruits include Ashley Nebeker, Anna Connelly and and Nikki Espinoza. The two men’s recruits are Angel Hernandez and Jared Lesa.

Nebeker is a graduate of Milpitas (Calif.) High School. She finished fourth at the CCS Cross Country Championships, helping her team to the Division 1 CCS title and a berth in the state championships.

Nebeker also competed in track and field, where she finished third at the CCS meet in the 3,200 meter run with the 11th fastest time in California by a senior (10:56). She placed 13th in the event at the state championships.

"Ashleigh is no doubt one of the best runners in the state," Augabright said. "She will will make an immediate impact on our team and our conference. I am really excited to be able to work with her." Nebeker’s sister, Kim, is entering her third season at San Jose State.

Connelly, a graduate of Salinas (Calif.) High School, finished 10th at the CCS Cross Country Championships. In track, she was the Monterey Bay Athletic League’s champion in the 1,600 and was a semifinalist in the event at the CCS Championships.

"Anna is going to be a great runner. She has run pretty fast times and has lots of potential. It wouldn’t surprise me if she is one of our top five runners by the end of the season," said Augabright.

Espinoza, who graduated from Clovis (Calif.) High School, sat out the 2000 season with an injury. In 1999 she placed 46th in the Division 1 state championships (19:37), helping her team to an eighth place finish.

"Nicole comes to us from one of the top cross country programs in California," Augabright said. "She will bring a winning attitude along with her outstanding ability."

Augabright said this is one of the best recruiting classes he has has at San Jose State. "We have three women who can compete for the top spots on the team. The future is looking great."

Hernandez joins the Spartan men’s team after completing his high school career at Sultana (Calif.) High School. He placed 33rd in the state championship meet, and Sultana finished fourth in the team standings. In track, he was a CIF Southern Section qualifier in the 3,200.

Augabright said that Hernandez will be one of the team’s top five runners. "Angel is going to be a great runner. He is a very strong runner and will enjoy the longer distance of college cross country."

Lesa, who plans to walk on, is a transfer from Sierra College where he was one of the team’s top two runners all season. "Jared comes to us loaded with potential," said Augabright. "He is going to come in and be a leader for our young team."