Sautner, Axelson Named Cross Country Coaches

NEW PALTZ, NY — Greg Sautner, a one-time member of the SUNY New Paltz cross country team, and long-time area high school coach Steve Axelson will coach the SUNY New Paltz cross country team this fall.

Sautner and Axelson were named to the position after Cassandra Quackenbush recently announced her resignation to pursue other interests. Quackenbush was the head coach of the cross country and track & field teams at SUNY New Paltz during the 2003-04 school year. Under her direction, John Zarella earned All-Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors in cross country while Josh Moore and Musu Jackson-Buckner captured SUNYAC titles in outdoor track & field.

Jackson-Buckner went on to represent the program at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championship in the 200-meter event.

Sautner competed for the SUNY New Paltz cross country team in 1999 and 2000 and earned his degree in mathematics in 2001. A tri-athlete since 1998, Sautner competes in seven to 10 triathlons a year and has become one of the top tri-athletes in the country. In May he was the top amateur finisher, and sixth overall, at the Columbia Triathlon in Maryland. He finished the race with a time of two hours, five minutes and 26 seconds. This summer he finished first in the Hudson Valley and Montauk Triathlons and was second at the Fort Delaware event.

For 10 years, Axelson served as the head boys and girls cross country coach at New Paltz High School. During his tenure, the boys and girls teams combined to win 14 league championships. In addition to his work with cross country team, Axelson has coached Nordic Skiing since 1986 and was named the Junior National Team Coach in 2001. He also spent two years as the assistant Nordic Skiing coach at West Point. Axelson has competed in triathlons for seven years and is the owner of Peak Performance Sports in New Paltz, NY.

The SUNY New Paltz cross country team will open the 2004 season on Sept. 11 in the Vassar Invitational.