The fall 2003 season opens with many new faces on the Georgetown men’s and women’s cross country teams, including several promising freshmen and a new assistant coach.

On the men’s side, freshman standouts Matt DeBole and Brian Dalpiaz both come to the Hilltop with impressive resumes. DeBole, a native of North Carolina, recorded the fastest times in his state for the 800m and the 1,600m in 2002. He also received national recognition when he won the Penn Relays in 2001, his junior year, with a mile time of 4:09.73.

Dalpiaz has traveled a rocky path en route to joining the Hoyas, as he spent a good portion of last autumn recovering from an appendectomy. His return to competition was an impressive one, as he won the mile run at the Hispanic Games in January with a time of 4:14.52 – a personal best and a new record for the course. Successes in several other races garnered him the honor of having the fastest two-mile time in the country going into the Nike Indoor Championships in March, though he ended that race in eighth place.

Freshman Elizabeth Maloy is the most decorated recruit to join the women’s team. Winning the 3,000m race at the Penn Relays in April 2002, she was honored as New York Senior of the Year and a member of the New York All-State First Team later that year.

Georgetown also regained the talent of Scott McLeod (MSB ’96), who ran with the team from 1992 to 1996 and served as captain for two years. McLeod joins the team’s office as an assistant coach for administration and academics.

These additions only improve a team that saw seniors Jesse O’Connell and Treniere Clement and sophomore Chris Lukezic earn All-America honors at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June. In the offseason, Lukezic also won the 1,500m run at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the second straight year.

“The atmosphere here is confident,” men’s cross country coach Pat Henner said.

“This team will be one of the best.”

Henner said he expects junior Rod Koborsi, who has the most experience at No. 1 out of all returning runners, to hold that position in the fall.

Juniors Tommy Manning and Charlie Millioen, the latter of whom is recovering from an injury, are both expected to compete for top spots in the men’s lineup. However, the coaching staff is still searching for someone to replace Mike Smith (COL ’03), who provided some direction for the team while racing at No. 1 for most of his senior year.

“We have talent. We have people who work,” Henner said. “What we need is leadership.”

Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer, who focuses on the women’s team during the fall, expressed similar notions about his group of runners.

“The nucleus is there, but we’re not returning any All-Americans for this season,” Helmer said.

Running at the No. 3, 4 and 5 spots last season, juniors Nicole Lee and Jodee Adams-Moore and senior Treniere Clement have the easiest route to securing the top berths in the coming season. Seniors Amanda Pape, Colleen Kelly and Diana Clock all have experience that may also translate into positions among the top seven, Helmer said.

He and Henner intend to use the first six to eight weeks of the season to gauge individual progress and to grow as a team.

“By the pre-Nationals in October, we hope to be able to have some sense of how good we are,” Helmer said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams begin the new year with a home meet, the Georgetown Invitational, in Great Meadows, Va. on Sept. 13.

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