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Seven women, including one local athlete, are set to join the LMU track & field and cross country teams.

Seven women set to join LMU’s track & field, cross country family

By LMU Athletics

HARROGATE, Tenn. — Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Rochelle Black has announced his women’s recruiting class for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

Black and distance coach Jeremy Donahue will have seven women joining the women’s track and cross country programs. In addition to the newcomers are two athletes slated to compete in field and multi-event disciplines.

“Our objective is to bring in kids that are competitors and want to get better,” Black said.

Lauren Smith — Cherokee HS, Rogersville, Tenn.

Smith will compete in the field throwing events, specializing in the discus.

“Lauren is ranked as one of the top discus throwers in the state,” commented Black. “She has also picked up the hammer throw and will give us a presence in events we have never competed in before. She is very smart and disciplined.”

Elizabeth Close — Wheeling Jesuit University

Close comes in as a transfer who will compete in the women’s multi-events, the pentathlon (indoors) and heptathlon (outdoors).

“Elizabeth will compete in events we have never entered before,” Black said. “She is also a good hurdler and will be a good compliment to Anna (Verdu Cobo).”

Taylor Chittum — Claiborne HS, Tazewell, Tenn.

Chittum is a two-time state qualifier in the hurdle events. She will be joining the program as a walk-on.

Ashlyn Johnson — Gray’s Creek HS, Fayetteville, N.C.

Johnson will be joining the distance team, competing with the cross country squad in the fall and in the distance events during the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“I really like her attitude,” praised Donahue. “I feel she was underdeveloped in high school and expect her times to really jump once she gets acclimated to the college training schedule.”

McKenna Korody — Morristown West HS, Morristown, Tenn.

Korody will compete in the distance events and cross-country.

“McKenna comes from a very strong high school program,” Donahue said. “She understands the commitment it takes to be successful.”

Harper Russell — Cherokee HS, Rogersville, Tenn.

Russell is the second Cherokee High School product to be joining the 2019 class. She will compete in the middle distance events, where she finished fifth in the state meet in the 800-meter run. She was also ranked second statewide in the Steeplechase.

“Harper has the ability to run a range of different events,” Donahue noted. “She really blew up during her senior year in high school.”

Olivia Scott — Maryville HS, Maryville, Tenn.

Scott ran on the state champion 4X100 relay team at Maryville and will be joining an already talented group of sprinters.

“Olivia comes from a team with two very good sprinters,” Black said. “We feel that she was underdeveloped in high school and comes from a very good team.”