Nebraska men’s cross country team will have almost an entirely new look in
Coach David Harris’ first season at the reins of the program.
only did the Huskers graduate four seniors from former Coach Jay Dirksen’s final
NU squad, but senior Trevor Vidlak will redshirt during 2012-2013 season, and senior
Tommy Brinn will see a much lighter work load than expected due to an injury
suffered in the spring. Another returning runner that will be redshirting this
year will be junior Connor Gibson.
a Lincoln native and returning captain for NU will be missed this upcoming
season after performing at a high level throughout his career with the Huskers.
Vidlak earned Nebraska’s Most Valuable Cross Country Runner in 2011, as well as
Most Improved Runner in 2010. During the 2011-12 season Vidlak was at his best
at the SDSU Classic in Brookings, S.D. winning the individual meet title,
running a time of 24:46.7.
Also seeing his competition limited
this season, Brinn’s senior leadership and experience will be missed during the
2012-13 season. The native of Ostego, Mich. had a very successful junior season
for NU, competing at his best at the SDSU Classic, placing 12th
while running a time of 26:14.6.
heavy losses from last year’s squad will present both challenges and
opportunities for Harris and a young Husker team.
will by far be the youngest team to compete in this program’s history,” Harris
said. “I keep telling my team that we need the younger kids to step up so we
can make strides into the future, due to the fact that we do not have many
seniors this season.”
top active returning runner in 2012 will be Jarren Heng. The junior from
Norfolk, Neb., will be counted on to lead a young Husker squad in training and
competition, while improving his times from a solid sophomore season.
expectations are high for Jarren this year, both in leadership and
performance,” Harris said. “He has put in the work to make progress in his
running career at the Big Ten level. He will be one of our men’s captains and
with that comes incorporating all of our freshmen into the 2012 season. That
could play a pretty big part in the future success of this program in the years
performed at a high level throughout his sophomore campaign, posting a pair of
top-five finishes on the year. He took second at the UNO/Creighton Invitational
in a time of 27:31.24. He added another runner-up finish two weeks later at the
South Dakota State Classic, posting a time of 25:25.9 to help the Huskers
capture a team title.
Grieb, Anthony Pittman and Dani Dapo will join Heng as runners expected to lead
the young Husker squad in 2012. Grieb, junior from York, Neb., hopes to
continue his improvement while adding veteran leadership on and off the course.
He competed in three meets for the Huskers in 2011 and posted a personal-best
time of 28:48.1 at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational. An outstanding
student, Grieb captured third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in
will also enter his third year in the cross country program after redshirting
in 2011. The sophomore from Omaha plans to regain the success he found on the
course as a freshman, while improving his times to help lead the Huskers.
Pittman hopes to be one of the Huskers’ top-seven runners in 2012.
a native of Omaha will also be looked upon to lead the young group of Huskers
this season. Dapo will be competing in his last season with NU, and will be one
of the only seniors competing for the Huskers in the fall. Dapo will add depth
to the team this year, and will likely be a top seven runner.
only four returning runners expecting to make significant contributions for the
Huskers this year, Nebraska’s seven-member freshman class will be counted on to
make immediate contributions.
of Nebraska’s most talented recruits in recent history, Jonah Heng, a native of
Overland Park, Kan., will have a very bright future for NU. “Jonah probably has
the best distance credentials with his performance at the Midwest Regionals
last year in high school. He just missed going to Nationals, and then backed
that up with a 9:06 two mile that broke the Kansas state high school record.”
Sebhat, a native of Skokie, Ill., is a touted recruit for NU. Sebhat, a
graduate of Niles North high school had a phenomenal high school career, and
owns multiple records at the school. “Aron will make an impact on day one for
incoming freshman that will contribute right away is Jacob Olson. Olson is a
native of Kearney, and earned Gatorade Runner of the Year in the state of
Nebraska as a senior. “Olson is one of the top runners coming out of the state
this year, and has the potential to become a great runner.”
Bloch, a native of Valley Village, Calif. will also be one of NU’s top
freshman runners coming into the 2012-13 season. Bloch recorded several top-10
finishes at the California State Track and Field Championships, as well as a
fifth place finish in cross country.
Procknow, a native of Cary, Ill. will look to adjust to the longer distances
covered in collegiate cross country this year. Procknow will add depth to the
young Huskers and will look to build strength in the coming years.
Gillbert, a standout runner from Fenton Mich., will also look to add depth this
year for NU. Gilbert brings a lot of credentials from Fenton high school,
earning all-state honors as well as all-region honors.
Anders a native of Greely, Colo., will add depth to the Huskers team this year,
and is looked upon to be in the top-seven this season. Anders recorded numerous
top ten finishes in the Colorado State Track and Field championships, as well
as competing in the cross country State Championship.
tough task of taking on more extensive training to help conquer both longer
races will challenge the first-year Huskers. An even greater challenge for the
freshmen-laden team will come with the strength of the Big Ten Conference.
NCAA champion Wisconsin headlines a group of five Big Ten teams that finished
among the top 30 in the nation in 2011. Indiana closed the year in seventh at
the NCAA Championships to join the Badgers in the top 10. Michigan took 17th
and Minnesota closed the year 19th to contribute a pair of top-20
NCAA finishes for the conference, while Ohio State added a 30th-place
showing at nationals.
competing against the best the runners the conference has to offer at the Big
Ten Championships in East Lansing, Mich., on Oct. 28, the young Huskers will
begin laying their foundation for success with the season-opening Creighton/UNO
Classic in Omaha on Sept. 1. Two weeks later the Huskers will play host to the
Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational at Pioneers Park in Lincoln on Saturday,
Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. Nebraska returns to the road for the KU Rim Rock Farm
Classic on Sept. 29, before competing at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on
Oct. 12. Following Nebraska’s second appearance at the Big Ten Championships,
the NCAA Midwest Regional will be held in Springfield, Mo., on Nov. 9. The NCAA
Championships are set for Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky.
for the freshmen may be too high for their first season,” Harris said, “but in
the end it will help build a strong foundation for success in the future.”