Feb. 11, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Head coach April Likhite introduced Monday the five newcomers who will join the Northwestern Cross Country family in time for the 2013 season. The group is comprised of state and regional champions and highly successful runners from both coasts and the Midwest, all of whom will look to build on the foundation Likhite has established for her program in recent seasons.
Joining the Wildcats in 2013 will be: Elena Miller (Troy, Mich./Lahser), Andrea Ostenso (Ladysmith, Wis./Ladysmith), Jena Pianin (Pleasanton, Calif./Wilson Memorial), Hannah Rose (Staunton, Va./Wilson Memorial) and Ellen Schmitz (Carmel, Ind./Carmel).
"After our most successful cross country campaign in over a decade, we are thrilled to add another athletically and academically accomplished class to our program," said Likhite, who next fall will begin her 10th season as head coach of the Wildcats. "As a whole, this class has the experience and talent to immediately impact our program, and they believe in the potential of Northwestern Cross Country at the conference, regional and national level. All five women bring their own unique characteristics and values that will allow them to thrive as student-athletes at Northwestern University."
Likhite's five newcomers will arrive following the departure of a nine-runner senior class that over the last four years has ushered in a new era for Northwestern Cross Country. Last season, the Wildcats finished fourth out of 31 teams at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, the best showing for NU since placing second in 2002.
Detailed bio information on each incoming Wildcat can be found below:
Troy, Mich. Lahser
High School: All-State and All-Region performer for Lahser High School ... Two-time team MVP in cross country as well as a team captain ... Personal-best times include 5:06 in the 1,600, 10:53 in the two-mile and 18:03 in the 5K ... Helped Lahser win Oakland Activities Association (OAA) league championship in 2012 and regional championships in 2011 and 2012 ... Also a three-year varsity letterwinner in lacrosse, earning Academic All-American honors ... National Honor Society member and Student Council treasurer.
Personal: Born Elena Rains Miller ... Daughter of Mary Ellen and Scott Miller ... Parents each were college golfers (mother at Michigan, father at Albion) ... Chose Northwestern over Michigan, Cornell and Washington University in St. Louis ... Plans to major in biomedical engineering.
Laydsmith, Wis. Ladysmith
High School: Wisconsin Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2012 ... 2012 Division III cross country state champion ... In track, won state championships in the 3,200 (2012) and 1,600 (2011) ... Top Wisconsin finisher in the FootLocker Midwest Regional Championship (13th overall) ... Team captain for both track and field and cross country ... Four-year letterwinner in cross country and three-year letterwinner in track and field ... Also competed in varsity swimming ... Student Council president and National Honor Society member.
Personal: Born Andrea Michele Ostenso ... Daughter of Chrysa and Erik Ostenso ... Chose Northwestern over Wisconsin and Yale ... Future major is undecided.
Pleasanton, Calif. Amador Valley
High School: Four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track and field ... Two-time California North Coast section D-I cross country champion in 2011 and 2012, earning first-team All-State honors in both years ... Two time East Bay Athletic League 3,200-meter champion (2011, 2012) ... Personal records include 2:20.8 in the 800-meter, 4:59.72 in the 1,600-meter and 10:40.21 in the 3,200-meter ... Ran a 16:58 three-mile and a 17:39 5K in cross country ... Helped Amador Valley qualify for California Cross Country state meet in 2011 and 2012 ... Team captain for track and field ... Four-time team MVP ... Four-time AVHS Scholar-Athlete for cross country and track and field.
Personal: Born Jena Estelle Pianin ... Daughter of Ronni and Jerrold Pianin ... Chose Northwestern overall Cornell ... Plans to major in history.
Staunton, Va. Wilson Memorial
High School: Four-year letterwinner in cross country, indoor and outdoor track ... Two-time Virginia Group A state cross country champion (2011, 2012) ... Group A state 3,200-meter champion in 2012 ... Two-time MVP and Group A region BXC champion ... Group A Shenandoah Valley District Cross Country champion and MVP ... Twice named to Virginia Milestat second-team All-State ... 2011 Virginia Milestat Most Improved Runner ... 2012 Wilson Memorial High School Athlete of the Year ... Holds the course record at both the Augusta County Invitational and the Stonewall Jackson Invitational ... Personal records include a 17:59 5K, 10:50 in the 3,200-meter and 5:10 in the 1,600-meter ... Three-sport team captain ... National Honor Society Member and graduate of Shenandoah Valley Governor's School STEM program.
Personal: Born Hannah Christine Rose ... Daughter of Bonnie and Mike Rose... Major is undecided.
Carmel, Ind. Carmel
High School: Four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track and field ... Earned IATCC second-team All-State honors for the 2012 cross country season ... Three-time All-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) and All-Region performer ... Member of Carmel cross country team that won three straight Indiana state championships, going undefeated all three years ... Team captain for track and field ... Competed on the indoor track All-State team for 4x800 in 2012 and 3200-meter in 2011 ... Personal records include 18:23 in cross country (5K) and 5:11 in the 1,600 meter ... 2011 team MVP ... Four-time Scholar-Athlete, three-time MIC Academic All-Conference for cross country and track and field, National Honor Society member.
Personal: Born Ellen Marie Schmitz ... Daughter of Sue and John Schmitz ... Father graduated from Northwestern in 1988 ... Chose Northwestern over Missouri and Indiana ... Plans to major in journalism.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!