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Monday, August 8th, 2011 - 1:44 pm

PUC introducing cross country squads

Purdue Calumet men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete for the first time in university history this fall, led by head coach Matt Bliss.

Bliss came to Purdue Calumet from Griffith High School, where he served on the coaching staff of the school’s cross country and track & field programs. He brings a wealth of running experience at the collegiate level, as a former NCAA All-America and All-District performer at Ball State University.

He will be assisted by Karen Nagel, a 2001 Purdue Calumet alumna and fixture on the local running scene. She is a two-time Road Runners Club of America State Champion in the 10 mile and a Boston Marathon qualifier.

“I’m looking for both of our programs to set a strong foundation for the future in our first season,” Bliss said.

He is looking for John Tessling of Glenwood, Ill. to lead the men’s team, while Munster native Jennifer Novosel will be counted on to pace the women’s squad.

Purdue Calumet opens its inaugural season Sept. 23 at the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational in Rockford, Ill.