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Kruse adds three runners for NKU cross country, track teams; Norse volleyball recruiting class lauded

NKyTribune staff

Northern Kentucky University cross country/track & field coach Steve Kruse has announced the addition of three runners for the 2020-21 campaign.

The recruiting class features Nick Lake, Robbie Notton and William Sandlin. Lake is a distance runner out of Cleves, Ohio, and a graduate of Taylor High School. He will run for both the cross country and track & field teams.

Steve Kruse

The three-time Cincinnati Hills League honoree was also a three-time cross country state qualifier. Lake finished second in the CHL’s 5K and third in the 1600m at districts in 2018. He also demonstrated the qualities of a great student-athlete as a three-time scholar athlete.

“Nick is used to a high level of competition growing up on the border of Southeast Indiana and southwest Ohio,” Kruse said. “Taylor High School has seen a resurgence in its distance program of late and Nick was a big part of that.”

Another dual signee for the Norse that will be running cross country and track & field, Notton is a local prospect from Conner High School. On the cross country side, he was awarded the Coach’s award twice, second team All-Region as a sophomore, and first team All-Region as a junior. He has also been named to the Academic All-State team twice.

NKU recruit Robbie Notton.

“Robbie is a competitor that enjoys the preparation for competition, whether that competition is class related or on the cross country course,” Kruse said. “He’ll excel at the longer distances for the Norse.”

Sandlin is another local signee and a graduate of Scott High School. The distance runner will also compete in both cross country and track & field for the Norse. He was a prolific runner in the KHSAA as the 2019 2A runner-up in the 1600m and 2019 the 2A Region 4 cross country runner-up.

Sandlin also won the 2019 2A Region 4 championship in both the 800m and 1600m. He was a member of the KTCCCAA All-State team in 2019 as well as a 2019 NKAC first team honoree, while being a two-time state all-academic team honoree.

“Will Sandlin comes from an athletic family and he has proven that with the right coaching, he will go far,” Kruse said. “Will has had success in the middle distances and as his body learns to handle higher volume, he’ll no doubt be a big part of our program’s success in the years to come.”

NKU VOLLEYBALL RECRUITING CLASS LAUDED: The NKU volleyball team’s recruiting class of 2020 has received honorable mention by PrepVolleyball.com, marking the third time in four years that a Norse recruiting class has received honorable mention or highest honorable mention from the publication.

NKU is the only Horizon League school to receive honorable mention or highest honorable mention, putting the Norse in the top-100 national recruiting classes. NKU joins the likes of Power Five programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oregon State, TCU, South Carolina, Southern California and West Virginia in earning the distinction.

Liz Hart

NKU adds six freshmen for the 2020 season, including Zoe Epplen, Torie Houston, Lillian Leiner, Allie Siefke, Skyy Smith and Katy Yopko.

The Norse are coming off their first NCAA Division I Tournament appearance after winning the Horizon League title in November. “We are excited to add our talented freshman class with our returners,” said head coach Liz Hart. “We can’t wait to see what this group will accomplish together.”

NKU posted a 19-13 overall record in 2019, winning eight consecutive matches in November. The Norse captured their first-ever Horizon League Tournament championship with wins against Illinois-Chicago, top-seeded Wright State and Milwaukee.

NKU met Michigan in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Lexington, and the Wolverines posted a 25-22, 25-15, 25-22 win over the Norse at Memorial Coliseum.

(From NKU Athletics Communications and staff reports)

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