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Season Outlook
The 2007 Philadelphia University Women’s Cross Country season appears to be quite promising, as the team is coming off a 20th place performance at the NCAA Regional Championships in 2006; as well as a third-place showing in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championships.  Moreover, the Lady Rams return three All-CACC individual selections in senior captain Melissa Rennekamp, redshirt senior Kara Laufer and sophomore Faith Anderson.  In addition, returning sophomore letterwinner Katie Marino and freshman Cassie Cohick give the team a solid foundation of youth for Head Coach Dave Thomas to build on in the years to come.

The revival of Cross Country at Philadelphia University is now in its third season, the second under Thomas and his Assistant Coach Erin Donahue.  Thomas says that this year’s women’s squad may be short on roster size, but very long on talent, “We may be smaller than last year’s team, but we’re stronger.”  The coach is excited to have his three top-ten CACC performers (third-place Laufer, fifth-place Rennekamp and ninth-place Anderson) back in place for 2007.  “Melissa is our leader, our captain, and she consistently runs times of approximately 20 minutes for the 5,000 meter course.  If she can maintain that pace and if her summer training went as well as last year, there is no doubt she will be in the top tier of CACC runners.  Kara ended up being our top scorer last season, and there is no question in my mind that she can even improve on those marks from last season.  She has a great opportunity to achieve the overall individual conference championship, which in turn positions us for a serious run at the team title.  Faith was an immediate impact runner as a freshman in 2006, the year of experience will really help her and again, she should be able to perform at the All-CACC level.”

Marino and Cohick round out the five-member club, and based on preseason training runs, both are ready to push, if not crack into, the top three positions on Coach Thomas’s team.  While her veteran teammates were consistently running top ten and top 15 times, Marino was right behind them, placing 20th to 25th in most meets.  Cohick is not only a freshman at Philadelphia University, but she’s also a novice to cross country as well, having just picked up the sport in her senior year at North Penn High School, where she lettered and helped the team to the Suburban One Conference Championship.  Thomas is glad to have these talented runners complement his All-CACC triumvirate, “Cassie is so new to the sport, and has shown so much potential already.  In our preseason three-mile exhibition meet at Haverford, she placed sixth overall, which was the best among our five women.  She will not only push the top three, but it appears she may be able to top them at times.  Katie is a very solid runner who contributed to our very impressive team placements last year.  If her times improve the way that many athletes do after a year of varsity college experience, then our team will be in fantastic shape.  Overall, if Cassie and Katie can meet their individual goals, I am fully confident that our team will reach its goal of winning the CACC and garnering better finishes in the NCAA Regionals and the ECAC Championships.”

While it would be a perfect world for Coaches Thomas and Donahue to have some more freshmen and sophomores to push their top five runners in practices, all they need are five solid times at each meet to be a major contender in the CACC.  The Lady Rams certainly appear to have their quintet in place to do just that in 2007.

2007 Cross Country
Media Guide


Head Coach Dave Thomas

Assistant Coach Erin Donohue



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