Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville Women's Cross-Country team has key returners coming back as the team looks to keep building off of their successes from last season.
Senior Samantha Ruszczyk (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) is back for the Spartans. Ruszczyk was awarded the team's MVP after last season after being the top runner during every race for the team. Samantha finished second overall in the Buffalo State Invitational and first overall in the Meghan Memorial. Ruszczyk was awarded AMCC runner of the week in early October, after her performance at the Meghan Memorial
Also returning for the team is junior Rachel Luczak (Lancaster, NY/Immaculata). Luczak is coming off of an MVP season her freshman year and winner of the team's Spartan Award this past year. In all seven of the team's races last season, Rachel finished first or second on the team; finishing second overall in the Hilbert Fall Classic and fourth overall in the Meghan Memorial.
Sophomore Danielle Couch (Wheatfield, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield) is also back on the team. After having consistently improved times and finishes last season, Couch was awarded Most Improved at the end of the season.
Bringing more experience to the team is seniors Mary Blackley (Lockport, NY/Blackley Academy), Jenna Donati (Depew, NY/Depew), Alexis Dymond (Kenmore, NY/Kenmore West), and Stephanie Lisiecki (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca East). Lisecki and Donati continuously finished third and fourth for the team in multiple races, while Dymond and Blackely finished within minutes of them.
Juniors Rachel Johnson (Jamestown, NY/Jamestown) and Kaitlyn Furtado (Acushnet, MA/Fairhaven) are also returning to the team. Furtado finished last season being in the top of the runners on the team, with Johnson being not far behind. Sophomore Joanna Elledge (Lockport, NY/Wilson) rounds out the team for the season, who also put in solid minutes for the team last year.
The team will compete in its first race of the season on Saturday, August 31 at the Buffalo State Invitational.