Aug. 13, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri Men's and Women's Cross Country teams have announced it's 2012 schedule, with their opening meet at home slated in just under 3 weeks on August 31st at A.L. Gustin Golf Course. The Missouri Cross Country Open will be the only home contest of the season for the cross country teams.
With this fall being the opening season of SEC competition for the Tigers, hopes are high for both teams. The women return six of their top seven athletes from last years fourth place conference performance, including All Big 12 and All Midwest Region honoree Bailey Belvis (Prosper, TX) and former NCAA Cross Country individual qualifier Kaitie Vanatta (Littleton, CO). The men also return a good portion from their seventh place NCAA Midwest Regional showing, led by 10,000 meter school record holder Max Storms (Kansas City, MO) and All Midwest Region runner Hayden Legg.
After hosting their home contest, the Tigers will travel north to former Big 12 foe Iowa State in Ames, IA for the Iowa State Cross Country Invitational on September 15th. The next two meets on the schedule will feature some of the best competition in the NCAA. On September 29th, the Greater Louisville Classic will serve as a course preview to the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships for Missouri, as the teams will look to be back there in mid November. Two weeks following on October 12th, the Tigers will travel to Madison, WI to race in what's expected to be the top meet in the country again this fall at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
"We feel we have put together a great regular season schedule for our student-athletes this fall," commented Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach Joe Lynn. "The middle of the schedule features a couple of the country's top meets which have historically been very competitive. We're looking forward to putting in the work one day at a time to prepare us for these."
On October 26th "championship season" will kick off as the teams will travel to Nashville, TN to compete in the programs first SEC Conference Cross Country Championship, hosted by Vanderbilt University. The Tigers next turn their focus towards the NCAA postseason as the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships will be at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO on November 9th, with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Louisville on November 17th.
"We're extremely excited to compete in the SEC for the first time this fall. The teams are eager to race our new competition and see how we stack up," said Lynn. "Being ready for the Midwest Regional and NCAA Championships is our focus of course, but we want to take full advantage of some great competition along the way and get out of the meets what we need to."
Follow the team on twitter throughout the season for updates and results @MIZ_TrackField.