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Cross Country

The SMC Cross Country and Track team welcomes a talented group of new runners to join this year's squad (pictured above).
The SMC Cross Country and Track team welcomes a talented group of new runners to join this...
XC | Gaels Sign Four To 2013-14 Squad
Release: Saturday 05/06/2013 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's Cross Country and Track head coach Marty Kinsey announced Monday a strong incoming class of four runners that will join the Gaels men's team for the 2013-14 season.

Jordan Kurtz, Vacaville HS (Vacaville, Calif.)

Currently finishing up his senior year at Vacaville High School in Vacaville, Calif., Jordan Kurtz is captain for both the cross country and track & field teams under head coach Kay Nekota’s tutelage.

He has garnered numerous team accolades including “Top Rookie” in 2012, “Unsung Hero” in 2010, and Team MVP in 2011. 

In cross country, Kurtz was a three-time All-Monticello Empire League selection and twice qualified for the California State XC Championships (Division II).

Personal bests: 9:04.54 (3000m), 9:45.99 (3200m), 16:02 (Mt. Sac Invitational), 16:11 (Woodward Park XC)

Associate head coach Mark Carberry on Kurtz: “We’re very excited about Jordan’s potential at the collegiate level. As with most incoming student-athletes, we’ll be patient in his development and look to see some big gains in his upperclassman years. Coach Nekota has done some great things with him and we’re glad he’s chosen to be a Gael.”

Joey Morris, San Rafael HS (San Rafael, Calif.)

Joey Morris will join the Gaels after a decorated career at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. that included three trips to Fresno for the California State XC Championships. 

During his time working with coach Jason Jacobson, Morris was a two-time First Team All-Marin County Athletic League selection and twice finished top ten for North Coast Section Division IV (2011 – 6th, 2012 – 5th).

Morris was an integral part of San Rafael’s two North Coast Section Division IV team championships and the 2010 California State XC Division IV Champions. On the track, Morris was given the “Top Gun” award in 2012 for being the top San Rafael athlete across all disciplines.

Personal bests: 1:58.31 (800m), 4:20.22 (1600m), 9:56.48 (3200m), 16:09 (NCS XC Championships)

Carberry on Morris: “Joey comes from a very positive environment which includes Coach Jacobson, his parents, Pat and Grace, and teammates at San Rafael. He’s shown some excellent range from mid-distances to 5K cross country so I expect him to make a seamless transition to our training philosophies. He’s got all the right tools to excel on the collegiate level.”

Matt Devries, San Ramon Valley HS (Danville, Calif.)

Matt Devries travels down the road from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif. to join the Gaels for the 2013 season. Devries qualified for three consecutive California State XC Championships, propelling his team to three straight top-12 finishes.

The Wolves have won four straight North Coast Section cross country championships (2009-DI, 2010-DII, 2011-DII, 2012-DI), where Devries placed fourth overall in both 2010 and 2011. He was named to the All-Freshman Team for the North Coast Section in 2009 and holds the SRV school record at the Monte Vista XC Invitational (10:48.77 - 2012). On the track, he placed fourth overall for 1600m at the 2012 East Bay Athletic League Championships.

Personal bests: 1:59 (800m), 4:26.13 (1600m), 9:44 (3200m), 15:24 (3m XC)

Carberry on Devries: “Matt is a fantastic addition to our program and one that I’m very proud of. After suffering a season ending injury this fall, Matt has dedicated his winter, spring, and summer to being prepared for his first collegiate cross country season. Matt is the caliber of recruit that thrives here at Saint Mary’s and we’re just excited to watch him develop over the years."

Lowell Kirkwood, Moses Lake Christian Academy (Moses Lake, Wash.)

Lowell Kirkwood will arrive in Moraga after running under high school coach and former Pac-10 champion Jennifer Carpenter at Moses Lake Christian Academy in Moses Lake, Wash.

A 4.0 student, Kirkwood has competed in four sports for the Lions over his high school career, participating in soccer, basketball, cross country, and track & field.

A decorated athlete, Kirkwood earned “Rookie of the Year” honors and All-Columbia Basin Big Nine League Honorable Mention in the same season for cross country.

In basketball, he was 1B Second Team All-State and MVP of the Central Washington 1B Athletic League. In each of his last two years, he was named First Team All-CBBN.  He also earned 1B/2B Second Team All-State honors playing soccer, and has served as team captain for his track & field (senior) and basketball teams (junior and senior).

Personal bests: 52.3 (400m), 1:59.11 (800m)

Carberry on Kirkwood: “Lowell is that classic diamond-in-the-rough athlete we pride ourselves on here at Saint Mary’s. We’ve been able to transform high potential/lower training volume guys like Rajpaul Pannu, Nick Ellingson, DJ Salas, and Zach Hansen into legit WCC talents. I’m confident Lowell’s attitude and character will vault him to new levels in a very short period of time”.