Tiger cross country adds two names to roster

Michael Claar from DWU.

Michael Claar

Nicole Court-Menendez from DWU.

Nicole Court-Menendez

MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University track and cross country teams added two names to the roster this week when head coach Pat Belling and assistant coach Chris Creal announced the signing of Nicole Court-Menendez and Michael Claar. The latest two signees bring Belling’s total to 11 for the 2012-13 season.

Court-Menendez comes to the Tigers from Lewiston, Maine. She is currently a senior at Lewiston High School and will compete in both track and cross country at DWU. Her personal best for cross country is 21 minutes 44 seconds, and she competed in the 800-meter run as well as the mile and two-mile races in high school track. She also completed the 5K race walk in 27:58 at the Penn Relays.

Court-Menendez has competed at many high school indoor and outdoor national meets.

“Nicole got recruited pretty hard by a lot of schools in the nation, but she liked what coach Belling and I had to offer as well as the opportunities that DWU provided for her,” Creal said. “She will make a big impact in this program and I look forward to working with her.”

Claar graduated from Nampa Christian High School in Nampa, Idaho, in 2010, and took some time off before deciding to compete collegiately. He ran cross country at Nampa Christian, and will compete for the Tigers this fall.

“Michael helps bring great depth to the program and I look forward to having him be a part of the Tiger cross country program,” Belling said.

Claar is the fifth signee for the Tiger men so far for 2012-13. He joins Paul Apenhorst (Adams, Minn.); Justin Brueggemann (Plattsmouth, Neb.); Jeffrey Sahli (Evergreen, Colo.) and Misael Azpeitia (Omaha, Neb.). Court-Menendez is the sixth signee for the DWU women. She joins Haley Brunke (Scotland, S.D.); Jamie Geho (Douglas, Wyo.); MaKenzie Hageman (Watertown, S.D.); Kalli Quicke (St. Lawrence, S.D.) and Skylar Forgey (Colome, S.D.).

The Dakota Wesleyan track team wraps up the 2012 season May 24-26 at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in Marion, Ind.