HAMMOND, Ind. & WESTVILLE, Ind. – Coming off the program’s first season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), Purdue Northwest cross country coach Austin Warner recently announced the addition of 12 incoming student-athletes as part of his 2018 recruiting class.
The PNW men's cross country team adds five newcomers to the squad this season and coach Warner is excited about his incoming class.
"This 2018 class is by far our most talented and deepest recruiting class in school history," Warner said. "We truly believe all of these newcomers can make an immediate impact on this men's program and really surprise some teams at the GLIAC Championships come November if we continue to put in the work required to be successful."
Antonio Chapa (Portage, IN)
Antonio Chapa is a redshirt freshman student-athlete who competed for NCAA Division I, IUPUI. Chapa is a native of Portage, IN and holds a 15:28 personal best in the 5000m event. At Portage HS, Chapa ran personal bests of 9:24 in the 3200m and 4:23 in the 1600m event. He was an IHSAA Cross Country Sectional Champion in both cross country and the 3200m run in track and field his senior year.
Michael Crook (Southport, IN)
Crook is an IHSA All-State cross country runner for Southport High School, where he was also a member of the track and field team. Crook won seven meets his senior year while breaking 16:00 in the 5000m event on five different occasions. Crook holds a 5000m personal best of 15:40 and was the individual IHSA sectional and regional champion. Crook also holds a personal best of 9:35 in the 3200m run.
Diego Gomez (Hobart, IN)
Diego Gomez is a distance athlete from Hobart High School. At the IHSAA Semi-State Championships, Gomez crossed the line in a personal best time of 16:23 for the 5000m distance. Gomez also holds personal bests of 4:27 in the 1600m and 9:47 in the 3200m event.
Cameron Chapman (Valparaiso, IN)
Cameron Chapman is a talented student-athlete from Morgan Township High School in Valparaiso, Indiana. Chapman was one of the top runners from a talented PCC boys’ cross country program that qualified for the IHSAA Semi-State XC Championships. Chapman holds personal bests of 16:33 in the 5000m and 4:30 in the 1600m event.
Fernando Rosas (Lowell, IN)
Rosas is a cross country and middle distance standout from Lowell High School. Rosas was a varsity runner for a Lowell team that won the IHSAA Semi-State Championship. Rosas holds a 16:41 personal best in the 5000m event and was a part of the Lowell 3200m relay that qualified for the 2017 IHSAA Track and Field State Championships, where he ran an official 800m split of 1:57.
The women's program brings seven great additions as they look to improve from last years finish at the GLIAC Championship.
"We lost many key contributors from our 2017 team due to graduation so it will be completely new team compared to last year," Warner said. "However, this 2018 class completely reloads our program to build off of last year's 9th place team finish in the GLIAC. I am excited to see what these newcomers are capable of doing as many have put in a lot of hard work over the summer and are eager to prove themselves at the NCAA Division II level
Brendea McNeal (Merrillville, IN)
Brendea is a competitive runner who has a wide range in both the middle distance and distance events. At Merrillville High School, Brendea set the 5000m cross country school record with a time of 19:08. McNeal is an individual state qualifier in cross country who also holds personal bests of 5:27 in the 1600m and 2:20 in the 800m events.
Leah Bassow (Cologne, Germany)
Bassow will be a graduate student-athlete who ran competitively for Auburn University-Montgomery in her undergraduate career. At AUM, Bassow recorded personal bests of 18:51 for the 5000m event and a 23:21 for the 6000m XC distance.
Angela Gonzalez (Cedar Lake, IN)
Angela qualified for the IHSAA Semi-State Championships three consecutive times in her career at Hanover Central High School and holds a personal best of 19:23 in the 5000m run. Angela has also had success on the track running the 3200m event in 11:41 and 5:22 at the 1600m distance.
Emily Sarna (Cedar Lake, IN)
Emily Sarna was also a varsity cross country/track and field student-athlete at Hanover Central High Central. Emily qualified for the IHSA Semi-State XC Championships and holds personal bests of 21:06 in the 5000m and 11:52 in the 3200m even
Additionally, Amanda Baker, Cristina Cabascango, and Alecia Wunderlich are three great additions to the women’s cross country squad who seek to be key contributors to the program.
The Pride will start their season on Aug. 31 when they travel to Joliet, Ill. for the St. Francis Twilight Invitational.
Full Women's Cross Country Schedule: http://www.pnwathletics.com/wcc/schedule/2018-19/
Full Men's Cross Country Schedule: http://www.pnwathletics.com/mcc/schedule/