Women's Track/Cross Country Signs Six
April 21, 2003
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-The University of Memphis Women's Track signed six distance runners for the 2003 class. Women's cross-country and distance track coach Jonas Holdeman announced the first group of signees Monday, after a highly successful recruiting campaign that brought in top talent from New Hampshire, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
"I feel like we put the rest of the C-USA on notice with this outstanding class," said Holdeman.
Most notable is Becca McMahon of Londonderry, New Hampshire, a New Hampshire Class L champion in the 600m (1:39.66), and a 2003 DyeStat Elite selection. McMahon was a two-year letterwinner in indoor track and a four-year letterwinner in outdoor track and cross-country, and served as co-captain of Londonderry H.S. for two years. As a senior, McMahon led the Lancers to an appearance at the 2002 New England Cross Country Championships. She was also heavily recruited by Lehigh University and the University of New Hampshire,
From the other coast and Portland, Oregon is Michel Wilson, another DyeStat Elite selection in 2002 for her 800m time of 2:17.88 run as a junior. She has won two Mount Hood Conference championships in the 800m and a Junior Olympics State championship in the 1500m. A five-time captain for the Central Catholic Lady Rams, Wilson has the distinction of having been a member of the 4 x 400m team who holds the record for the fastest time in Oregon high school history (3:50), run at the 2002 Oregon-Washington Border Clash Meet.
Coming to join the Lady Tigers from the USATF National Champion Jenks America Track Club is Kara Cassel, of Jenks, Oklahoma. Under the tutelage of highly successful club coach Mike Barber, Cassel recorded a Top 20 finish in the Young Women's Division in the 2002 AAU Cross Country National Championships in Ames, Iowa. She was also part of the Jenks America Track Club relay team that won the USATF Youth Nationals 4 x 800m national championship in June of 2002.
From the eastern region of the state of Tennessee hails Mary Claire Dake, a four-year letterwinner in outdoor track and winner of two letters in two years of running cross-country. Individually, she was All-Knoxville Interscholastic League in track from 2000-2002, and All-Region in 2001-2002. She was also All-KIL and All-Region in cross-country in 2001-2002, and finished 11th in the TSSAA State Cross-Country Championship in 2002.
Two local prospects, Kimberly McVeigh of Houston High School and Brittany Pieraccini of St. Benedict's at Auburndale, have also joined the Lady Tiger 2003 signing squad. McVeigh, an 800m/mile specialist and member of the TSSAA State Cross Country Champion Houston Mustang team, was a four-year letterwinner in outdoor track and cross country, and a 2002 Memphis "Best of the Preps" cross country selection. Pieraccini, a 400/800 performer and member of the St. Benedict Eagles Regional Cross-Country Championship team, was a four-year letterwinner in outdoor track and earned three letters in cross-country. She also won two letters in softball. A three-time Memphis "Best of the Preps" selection, Pieraccini owns the St. Benedict school 800m record.
"I am extremely pleased with the level of athlete we have been able to attract to the University of Memphis," said first-year cross country and distance track coach Jonas Holdeman. "These fine runners wanted to be an integral part of building a strong distance program here. I expect our success in the conference to increase dramatically."
Memphis, who won a Great Midwest Conference outdoor track and field championship in 1991, is looking to rise to the top in the highly competitive Conference-USA. The Lady Tigers cross-country team opens its 2003 campaign on September 6, when they host their home meet, the Memphis Twilight Classic, at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis.
Women's Track expects to sign two more runners this spring in addition to these six signees.