Rockhurst to add lacrosse, cross country in 2013November 27, 2012

Rockhurst University will be adding three new intercollegiate athletic programs in the fall of 2013. Men's and women's lacrosse, along with women's cross country, will increase Rockhurst’s athletic programs from 11 to 14 next year.

Gary Burns, RU's Director of Athletics, said that the addition of these three programs will enhance athletic opportunities for an additional 55 new students in the first year. By the third year, that number could grow to 75 students.

"Lacrosse is the fastest growing team sport in America," Burns said. "This is an opportunity for Rockhurst to capitalize on an underserved market. We will be the first university or college in this area to field a lacrosse program. We will target the Greater Kansas City area and high schools on the East Coast for lacrosse players."

There are currently 68 Division II women’s lacrosse programs and 46 Division II men's lacrosse programs organized into six conferences, as well as a number of independent programs consisting of mainly new programs. The Hawks will attempt to schedule lacrosse games with schools in Colorado and the St. Louis area.

Rockhurst will be the 14th school in the Great Lakes Valley Conference to sponsor women's cross country.

"Women's cross country provides the University with its first new offering in women's athletics since 2005," Burns said. "It is a solid mission fit for the University. Cross country athletes tend to be strong academically and heavily involved in campus activities."

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