Less than a day away from kicking off the 2012 cross country season, head coach Phil Torrens see lots of promise in both his returning veterans and the new crop of freshmen.
Back to lead the way is senior Chad Kosanovich, who missed the majority of the 2011 season with an injury. Kosanovich looks to take over the squad's number one spot vacated by recent grad and three-time All-American Dee Salukombo. Also back are seniors Steven Johnson and Jacob Ott. Johnson placed fifth on the team at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship event last season.
Junior Stephen Stitcher and sophomore John Williamson also return to the mix after strong performances in 2011. Stitcher finished fifth on the team at both the Division III All-Ohio Championship meet and the NCAA Great Lakes Regional. Williamson took third on the squad at the NCAA regional. In addition, the sophomore was the fourth DU runner to cross the finish line at the NCAC Championship event.
In addition to eight returnees, the coaching staff brought in a group of five talented freshmen that could make an immediate splash. Sam Beech, Andrew Groff, Mitch Keller, Ryan Keller and Brian Myers could all find their way into the Big Red's top seven this season.
Denison opens its season with events at Franklin and Wooster before taking part in the All-Ohio Championship at Cedarville. Following the All-Ohio meet, the Big Red has one more tune-up at Gettysburg before the NCAC Championship hosted by Wooster.