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11/29/2016 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2016 16:41

[Women's Undergrad Rugby] Former Running Eagle Strasko to Debut with USA Rugby on Thursday

Women's Undergrad Rugby - Tue, Nov. 29, 2016 at 4:55 PM

CHULA VISTA. Calif. - Former Life University women's rugby player Nicole Strako will make her debut with the USA Eagles Women's Sevens rugby team on Thursday at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens to open the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series. The Eagles will face off against gold medalist and 2015-16 Series Champion Australia, Russia and South Africa in pool play, before the knockout rounds on Friday.

'Nicole embodied all the dimensions of student-athlete while she was here at Life University,' said women's rugby head coach Rosalind Chou. 'She was fully committed to improving on and off the field, while juggling the demands of the demanding chiropractic program. She was a selfless leader who always led from the front, literally. Her team was often trying to catch her in fitness. Her drive opened many doors for her, and we are just so excited to see her succeed beyond her time here.'

Strasko was one of 12 athletes selected by head coach Richie Walker for the women's sevens team that includes four Olympians from the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games as well as two of Team USA's traveling reserves.

'I'm very happy with the selections I have made, and excited to get the first tournament going to see what our new squad can do,' Walker said. 'We're looking to get these younger athletes more experience earlier rather than later for Rugby World Cup Sevens and, ideally, the 2020 Olympics.'

Strasko, a product of Roland, Iowa, was crucial to the Running Eagles success last year as they completed the perfect 18-0 season capturing both the Collegiate Rugby Championship and the USA Rugby Collegiate Sevens National Championship. For her efforts, Strasko was named an AIG Women's Collegiate All-American.