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Alex CorneliusCross country

Mannheim

Last week: Cornelius, a senior, demonstrated his drive to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish in the European D-II cross country championships by breaking his home-course record Saturday. Cornelius trimmed 12 seconds off the 4-year-old mark by running Mannheim’s 5,000-meter layout in 16 minutes, 20 seconds.

“He’s really come on in the last two years,” Mannheim coach Dayna Wiederich said by telephone Monday, “especially considering where he was as a freshman.”

Cornelius, whose margin of victory Saturday was more than a minute, finished 10th in D-II as a sophomore in 2007, running 17:34 on the layout where the European championships are held. He ran 17:11 in last year’s fourth-place performance.

“He hasn’t come out of nowhere,” Wiederich said of Cornelius, who is undefeated this season. Saturday’s finish is his best competitive time, and, according to Wiederich, it “definitely” moved Cornelius into contention for a gold medal in this year’s Europeans, scheduled for Oct. 31.

Nadia BookerVolleyballRamstein

Last week: Booker, a 6-foot-1 senior middle blocker, made eight solo blocks and assisted on four Saturday at Brunssum, Netherlands, as the unbeaten Lady Royals downed host AFNORTH of Division II and D-I rival Lakenheath in straight sets.

According to Ramstein coach Cynthia Sebastian, Booker also put away 14 of 23 kill tries in Ramstein’s 25-15, 25-15, 25-21 victory over AFNORTH for a .565 hitting percentage. Booker was 8-for-18 in kill attempts in Ramstein’s 25-14, 25-22, 25-15 victory over Lakenheath.

In addition to her hitting, Booker excelled on the back line. She served 23 of 27 tries successfully, with three aces, for an .852 percentage.

Booker’s effort helped Ramstein, the D-I European runner-up last year, to improve to 4-0 going into Saturday’s scheduled home dates against Wiesbaden and Baumholder. The Lady Royals have lost one of the 13 official games they’ve played.

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