PALATINE, Ill. – In the past few years, it has been a struggle for the Harper women's cross country team to field a full lineup of runners. In 2013, the Hawks boast five runners who are ready to compete and contribute to the team total.
Gabby Beaupre (/Elk Grove) returns for her second season with the Hawks. Beaupre placed 73rd at last year's national meet and will bring leadership to the team.
"Gabby's a hard worker, has improved a ton, has a great attitude, and she'll be a great leader this year," said head coach Jim Macnider.
Beaupre wanted to compete for the track and field team this past spring but was unable to due to a stress fracture in her tibia.
The rest of the Harper squad features four track and field athletes in Marisa Andreuccetti (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Conant), Stephanie Chaires (/Christian Liberty), Gabrielle Brosnan (Mount Prospect/Christian Liberty) and Cindia Salgado (/Wheeling).
Andreuccetti, who played soccer for the Hawks in 2012, was a member of the 4x800m relay team that took home a national title. Chaires, who also played a year of soccer for Harper, was a member of the championship 4x800m relay team with Andreuccetti and also took fifth in the 1500m.
Brosnan battled injuries in the spring but ran the 400m and 4x100m relay. Salgado was a middle distance runner for the Hawks before her season was cut short due to injury.
"We have a lot of different talents coming together who have been training hard since the track season," Beaupre said.
In Harper's first meet, the Elmhurst College Invitational, Andreuccetti was the lone Harper runner and placed 70th out of 158 runners. The Hawks' next meet is in Aurora at the Aurora Invite on Friday.
The Hawks will also participate in the Illinois Intercollegiate at Olivet Nazarene, the College of DuPage Invite, Benedictine Invite and Bradley Classic, all in preparation for the Region IV Championship and NJCAA Championship. Many of these meets will feature strong competition from four-year schools.
Macnider believes if his team stays healthy, the goal is to get to nationals and perform well.
This year's Region IV Championship will be held in Joliet on Nov. 2. The NJCAA Championship will be hosted by Holyoke Community College in Northfield, Massachusetts on Nov. 9.