Fourth-year Lauretta Dezubay ran the best time of her collegiate career at the Lou Onesty Invitational to open the 2008 cross country season in early September. That race was her first-ever individual title. Dezubay’s finish led the women’s squad to the team championship for the second-consecutive year. After nearly a month away from competition, Dezubay and the Cavaliers will head to Fairfax, Va., to compete in the George Mason Invitational this Saturday. The men’s race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., with the women’s following the conclusion of the men’s competition.Question: How did it feel to start the season with a win?
Dezubay: I think it's great. I think that every year you want to start off the season on a positive note. It’s always great to win at home in front of the support of friends and family. It is also great that both the guys and the girls won; it allows us to feed off the positive energy from both teams.Question: How has the transition to first-year coach Jason Vigilante so close to the season been?
Dezubay: The transition was a little tough at first, but I think he's doing a really good job at gearing to everyone's individual needs as well as looking at individual strengths and seeing what's best for the program. Everyone's doing a really good job of being patient with him and working with him and I think everyone is really happy so far. Seeing the results of the home meet shows that his training bodes well for success in both men and women.Question: What kind of team is returning for the women this year?
Dezubay: Of our top seven runners, we lost three, so that could hurt a little bit. But, we have a lot of really strong people entering or coming back from injury, including Katie Read and myself, so that really helps. The experience we have from the four returning is also great. We've competed in the past right up there on the national level and I think the girls who have been there, know what it’s all about. It’s a great experience to have coming into this year.Question: Obviously eighth place in the ACC is not where you wanted to end up last year. How do you think this year will be different?
Dezubay: Right, that wasn't exactly where we wanted to be. It's always good to be in the top three at the conference meet, but I am confident that we're going to be above that this year. There's no doubt in my mind. I think the circumstance last year was a little bit different. We didn't know exactly who was going to be back from injuries, who was going to be running or not, and I think we ended up relying on people of whom it was asking a lot to step up and try to fill roles that were really, really big. It was a lot of pressure on people and I think we're going into this year with a lot more confidence and relaxed attitude.
I'm positive we will end up above eighth in the conference. I don't think our goals have necessarily changed. We always aim to be top three in the conference, top two in the region and top 10 in the country. I don't think it matters who your personnel is as long as you have a really good team with a really good training habits and a really good attitude. That is what this team brings to the table, and I'm sure we will achieve those goals by the end of the season.