With one of its largest recruiting classes ever, the East Central University women’s cross country program and head coach Steve Sawyer have announced the signing of seven student-athletes for the 2011-12 calendar year.
The recruiting class features five freshmen and a pair of junior college transfers.
The transfers include Colleta Songol out of Cloud County Community College (Kan.) and Katie Bruner, from Butler Community College (Kan.). Both will be juniors this season.
The freshmen list includes ReGina Germain, Kaitlin Moore, Amber Walker, Minhuyen Nguyen and Shameka Sanders.
Germain comes to the ECU program from Boswell High School in Fort Worth, Texas, where she finished as a district champion in 2007, a regional and state qualifier in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and an all-state honoree in 2007 and 2009. She has personal records of 11:34 in the 3,200 meters and 19:06 in five kilometers.
Moore joins the Lady Tiger squad from Plainview High School near Ardmore where she was part of four-time state championship cross country teams. Moore is a three-time all-state honoree in cross country (2008, 2009 and 2010), placing as high as fourth overall in 2008.
As a member of the Plainview track and field squad, Moore was part of two 4x800 meter relay teams that posted runner-up finishes at the state championships in 2008 and 2011 and was a member of the 4x800 state championship relay in 2010. Her Plainview track squad won a state championship in 2010 while picking up state runner-up efforts in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Walker comes to ECU from Marietta High School where she was one of the state’s best middle distance runners, according to Sawyer. Walker won two state titles in 2009 while running in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays and posted three other state runner-up finishes in the 1,600 in 2010, 800 in 2009 and 3,200 in 2009. Her 2009 runner-up effort in the 3,200 was her personal-best record in that event at 11:47.
In her final year on the track in the 1,600, Walker clocked in at 5:13.79, which was good enough for third place that day in Class 3A but was good enough for a state title in any other class. Her time beat the old 3A state meet record and is one of the top times ever run by a high school female in the state of Oklahoma. Walker also ended her cross country career with a 14-place finish and earning all-state recognition.
Her Marietta High team won a 2009 state track and field championship.
Minhuyen joins the Lady Tiger squad from Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas, where she was a 2010 Texas Track and Field District 10-5A Champion in the 3,200 and a runner-up in the 1,600. Her personal records are 12:07 in the 3,200 and 5:28 in the 1,600. Minhuyen also earned fifth and seventh-place efforts in the district cross country meets in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Sanders comes to ECU out of Del City High School where she was a track and cross country standout.
Sanders competed in the 2011 Class 6A track and field championships where she placed fifth overall in the 800 meters with a personal-best 2:24.15. That occurred after she took fifth at the regional meet with a time of 2:27.
As a talented cross country runner, Sanders earned a spot at the state meet during all four years of high school, placing as high as 18th as a senior in 2011 with a personal record of 12:32.15 for the 3,200-meter race.
Songol comes from a tradition-rich, distance-running junior college in Cloud County where she placed 31st overall at the 2010 NJCAA Cross Country Championships with a time of 19:16 in the 5-kilometer event. She also placed eighth overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2011 NJCAA Track and Field Championships.
Bruner was a member of the Butler cross country team that took 13th place at the 2010 NJCAA national championships and earned back-to-back Jayhawk Conference titles in 2009 and 2010, as well as a Region VI third-place effort in 2010.
She owns personal-best times of 20:24 in the 5,000, 11:53 in the 3,000 and 2:29 in the 800.