Wilson's Solid Class of Newcomers to Join a Talented Indiana Women's Cross Country Team
July 25, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana women's cross country coach Judy Wilson believes that her group of eight incoming freshmen bring impressive, but diverse backgrounds to a 2006 squad that features a group of seasoned upperclassmen.
Kellee Lemcke (Macomb, Mich./Stevenson-Sterling Heights) finished runner-up at the Mid East Cross Country Championships her senior season, qualifying for the Foot Locker Regional, where she placed 22nd. She set conference and Macomb County course and meet records as a senior, leading her Stevenson-Sterling Heights team to a county and conference championship and Macomb County Cross Team of the Year honors. Lemcke recorded times of 5:02 in the 1,600-meter and 10:47 in the 3,200 races, becoming the second fastest two-miler to come to IU since Jessica Gall (10:38 in 2001). Lemcke was a Macomb County champion in the 3,200 and placed third in the same event at the Michigan State meet in 2006. She was the runner-up at the National Scholastic Indoor Track Championships as a senior, earning all-America honors, and capped off her final high school campaign as a Detroit Free Press and Michigan High School Athletics Association Scholar Athlete.
"We're fortunate to have Kellee joining us, as she was heavily recruited by schools in our region," Wilson said. "She really showed her mental toughness her senior year by running 10:47 on a badly sprained ankle. She has been well-coached in high school and has had big meet experience."
Hailee Elmore (Springfield, Ill./Springfield), an Illinois state champion in the 1,600 as a junior after taking second as a freshman, claimed the Illinois Prep Top Time in the 1,600 four consecutive years. She qualified for the finals of the 1,500 run at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2005 with a time of 4:34. A two-sport athlete, Elmore was a two-year captain of both track and tennis at Springfield and placed fifth in the Illinois state tennis tournament in the fall of 2005.
"What Hailee lacks in cross country experience, she makes up for in competitiveness," Wilson said. "She is an accomplished miler and a great athlete, having placed fifth in the Illinois state tennis championships. Her 4:34 time in the 1,500 as a junior is a good indication of her speed."
Rachel Ehret (Indianapolis Ind./Lawrence North) was named the 2006 Marion County Female Athlete of the Year after earning all-state honors. She holds the Lawrence North record in the mile with a time of 5:03.4. Ehret helped her squad to a regional championship with a personal-best performance of 14:36 her senior season. She claimed the county and sectional championship in the 1,600 and earned a sectional championship in the 3,200 during the 2006 season. Ehret placed ninth at the Indiana state meet in the 1,600 her junior season. She was also a four-year letterwinner in basketball.
"Rachel impressed us with her athleticism," Wilson said. "She played basketball in high school during the indoor season, and after only a few weeks of track training, ran a 11:05 indoor 3,200."
Jenny Kulow (Nashville, Ind./Brown County) finished 10th at the Indiana state meet her senior season after taking second at semi-state, earning first team all-state and Brown County Female Athlete of the Year honors. She placed sixth in the 3,200 at the 2006 state championships. Kulow, a two-time conference champion, was an Indiana High School Athletics Association's Mental Attitude Award and academic all-state honoree. She holds the school record in the 4K (14:23), the 1,600 (5:17) and in the 3,200 (10:59), and was a member of the school-record setting 3,200 relay team that claimed a conference and sectional championship in 2005.
"What Jenny was able to accomplish this last year surprised a lot of people," Wilson said. "She showed that she is a smart racer in big meets, a major plus in college racing."
The class of Hoosier newcomers also includes Ashlee Evans (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg), Katie Johnson (East Amherst, N.Y./Williamsville South), Sarah Pease (Elizabeth, Ind./South Central), and Caitlin Sauerhage (Rising Sun, Ind./Rising Sun).
"These women will add depth to our squad," Wilson said. "They are all very good students who work hard and we will be looking to develop their talents and ease their transition from high school to collegiate running. Seventy-five percent of our roster is made up of freshmen and sophomores, so this class really is the future of our program."
Wilson's group of upperclassmen, led by Gall, helped lead the Hoosiers to its fifth season as a top-five finisher in the Big Ten and at NCAA Regional competition in 2005. Her class of newcomers and the rest of the 2006 squad open this year's campaign with preseason training on Aug. 17.
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