Cross Country Adds Three Recruits

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 2, 2004

Fresh off its third Top 20 national ranking in the past five years, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's cross country team added three outstanding recruits during the NCAA's early signing period.

The Mountain Lions received national letters of intent from Kristen Andersen of Loveland High School, Leslie Bennett of Albuquerque's Hope Christian High School and Addie Devine of Incline Village High School in Nevada, CU-Colorado Springs coach Graeme Badger announced Thursday.

"We're not done with our recruiting, but this is a tremendous start to what could be an outstanding 2005 freshman class," said Badger.

Andersen has posted a 5,000-meter time of 19 minutes, 25 seconds and owns her school's record in the 3,200 meters at 11:49.90. She also fits the ideal CU-Colorado Springs profile as an outstanding citizen, having served on church missions in Mexico and Malaysia.

"I received tremendous recommendations about her both as an athlete and as a citizen," said Badger. "Everybody I talked to just loves her. I'd be surprised if she doesn't make our varsity squad as a freshman."

Devine was a three-time Nevada state cross country champion while running at Incline Village High School near Lake Tahoe. Her Parents were both collegiate runners and that bloodline showed in her 19:42 5,000-meter time and her 11:57 mark in the 3,200. While those times are solid, Badger believes Devine is just scratching the surface of her potential.

"Her school is at 7,000 feet and is very snowy. It's very difficult to train after the fall. As a result, she's had great success in cross country but less in track," said Badger, pointing out that cross country is run in the fall and track is run in the spring. "Despite that, she's still had tremendous success."

Bennett is a classic Badger recruit. Her high school bests of 20:26 in the 5,000 meters and 12:30 in the 3,200 meters are not as eye popping as the other recruits, but she comes from a small program and has been under-trained as a runner.

"Based on her training, she has huge upside potential," said Badger. "She's coming from a small school, but she has a tenacious attitude about competition. That's a trait that will help her develop to a higher level of athletic accomplishment."

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