Cross Country Teams Prep for Split Weekend
Oct. 15, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's cross country teams will have a busy weekend, as they split squads to compete in the Bradley Classic, which will be held on the Newman Golf Course with the first race beginning at 4:15 p.m., Friday. On Saturday, the Redbirds will compete at Indiana State in the 2009 Brooks Pre-Nationals on the LaVerne Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's race will begin at 11 p.m., followed by the Redbird women, who will compete at 12:55 p.m.
Illinois State will send its top men and women's runners to the Pre-Nationals meet to compete in the women's 6K and the men's 8K races. A total of 144 men's and women's teams from across the country are scheduled to race in Saturday's meet, while 34 of the teams are currently ranked in the top-30 of the U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men's and Women's Polls.
The meet is divided into a Blue race and a White race. The ISU men's team will be competing in the blue race, which consists of 35 teams. The Redbird men are ranked No. 11 in the Midwest Region.
"We will be able to fair well this weekend, as long as we our able to keep our nerves under control," said head coach Jeff Bovee. "I think we will have a good possibility to prove what we are made of."
"The key for our men's team this weekend is for Scott and Matt to perform as well as they did at the Notre Dame Invitational," said Bovee. "We need Jon to continue improving his time. He is coming off of an injury, but ran an all-time best at Notre Dame two weeks ago. A couple of other men will need to improve their times to bridge the gap between our third, fourth and fifth guys."
The women's team will compete in the White race, which consists of 37 teams. The ISU women are ranked No. 11 in the Midwest Regional Poll, and it will be the first 6K of the season for the women's squad.
"On the women's side, we want to use this meet as a spring board to continue to build confidence for the team heading into the post-season," said Bovee. "We have already proved that we are a better team than last year. For Saturday, we are focusing on running hard and getting into a position to run well and succeed. We need to be willing to take some chances and compete."
The women making the trip to compete in the Brooks Pre-Nationals meet will be juniors Michelle Brunk, Sarah Glowacki, Jess Husted and Kirsten Lang, along with sophomore Aisha Praught and freshmen Samantha Bluske and Brea Tinney.
The members of the men's and women's cross country team that are not competing in the Pre-Nationals meet will travel to Peoria, Ill., to race in the Bradley Classic Friday. The women will toe the line for the 6K race at 4:15 p.m., with the men's 8K race scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
"The men and the women will want to run well on Friday to show what they are capable of and to prove they should make the conference squad, while wanting to run well against other Missouri Valley teams," said Bovee. "I think both teams should do well in the race."
The field will be made up of 20 women's teams and 16 men's teams for Friday's competition.
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