Aug. 30, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Mizzou cross country program will open its 2011 season Friday (Sept. 2) at the Saluki Early Bird, hosted by Southern Illinois University at the SIU Cross Country Course in Carbondale, Ill. The women's race is set for 5:30 p.m., with the men's race to follow at 6 p.m. The women will run a 4K, while the men's course will cover 6K. As a friendly competition, the meet will not be scored.
Friday's meet is sure to be memorable for first-year men's coach Joe Lynn, who will guide the Tigers for the first time since Mizzou announced his hiring Aug. 12. The Carbondale event will give Lynn and women's coach Rebecca Wilmes a chance to gauge the Tigers' progress and decide how they want to build their rosters for the season's competitive events.
Rend Lake College will join Mizzou and SIU at the three-team meet. The Tigers will send out their "B" team on the women's side, while running a more experienced group in the men's race.
Lynn tabbed seniors Kevin McKee (Kansas City, Mo.), Kyle Rood (St. Peters, Mo.) and Ricky West (Scarborough, Ontario), redshirt senior Michael Pandolfo (Lone Tree, Colo.), and sophomores Kevin Krumrey (Chesterfield, Mo.) and JT McCarthy (Burlington, Iowa). McKee finished second last year in Carbondale, while West came in tenth and Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, Iowa) was 11th.
Wilmes looks to give her younger runners some early-season experience, as the Tiger women will run redshirt freshmen Ali Ross (St. Louis, Mo.) and Landon Wachter (Jackson, Mo.) and true freshmen Courtney Brown, Maria Effinger, Brianna Westervelt and Courtney Wood. Mizzou placed five runners in the top six at the 2010 meet, led by overall winner Eden Slater (Stoneboro, Pa.). Returning for the Tigers this season are Aimee Bonte (Fenton, Mo.), Layne Moore (Emporia, Kan.), Megan Kowalik (Foristell, Mo.) and Chelsea Chrisman (Eureka, Mo.), who all ran in Carbondale last year.
For full coverage and results of Friday's races and the latest updates on Mizzou Cross Country, check back to MUTigers.com.