Cross Country Teams Each Add Five Runners To Its Rosters
June 25, 2015

Duquesne University head cross country/track and field coach Jim Lear has announced that 10 new runners will join the 2015 men’s and women’s cross country programs.

New to the women’s team are Alison Carson (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy), Jennifer Gerland (Garden City, N.Y./Gaden City), Elizabeth Morris (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East), Taylor Pletz (North East, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep) and Lauren Smeltzer (Leechburg, Pa./Kiski Area).

Joining the men’s roster are Jake Heinauer (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills), John McLoughlin (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep), Jeff Van Kooten (Sewickley, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic), Zack Weland (Ramsey, N.J./Don Boscoe Prep) and Hunter Wharrey (Wexford, Pa/North Allegheny).

Carson comes to Duquesne after finishing third in the 1600 meter run at the PIAA AA Championship and 21st at the 2014 PIAA AA Cross Country Championship. Her 4x800 relay took first at states.

Gerland joins the Dukes as a four-time All-State honoree and five time All-County choice. She also received All-American status with her 4x800 meter relay team.

Morris recently placed seventh in the 3200 meter run at the PIAA AAA Championship. She also placed eighth at states in the 3200 in 2014 and finished 22nd at the PIAA Cross Country Championship.

Pletz is coming off a fourth place showing in the 1600 meter run at the PIAA AA Championship and also finished 18th at the state cross country championship.

Smeltzer comes to DU after placing sixth at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association XC Championship and finishing 22nd at the 2014 WPIAL XC Championship.

Heinauer joins the Dukes after placing third in the 3200 meter run at the 2015 WPIAL Championship and 11th at the PIAA State Championship.

McLoughlin also specialized in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. He turned in a personal best of 4:28 in the 1600 and 9:46.32 in the 3200.



Van Kooten was runner-up in the 1600 at the 2015 PIAA Championship and placed fourth in the event in 2014. In addition, he was the champion in the 1600 in 2014 and 2015 at the WPIAL Championship.

Weland finished fifth in the 3200 among New Jersey Non-Public Class A schools. He also placed 19th at the New Jersey XC Meet of Champions.

Wharrey placed eighth at the PIAA AAA state cross country championship. He was also the runner-up at the WPIAL XC Championship and finished fourth in the 3200 at WPIAL’s.

The Dukes open the season on Saturday, Sept. 5 as they host the Duquesne Duals at Schenley Park


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