Sept. 1, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou cross country program will open its 2010 season this Friday at the Saluki Early Bird, hosted by Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill., at the SIU Cross Country Course. The women's race will begin at 5:30 p.m. while the men's race is slated to begin half an hour later at 6 p.m. The women will run a 4K race while the men will run a 6K. The meet is a non-scored friendly competition.
"We have several men and women on the cross country team that are really close to a breakthrough and elevating their level of running," head coach Rebecca Wilmes said. "This meet provides a great opportunity for several of these runners to lace it up, go hard and to set the table for good things down the road."
The meet will serve as a chance for Wilmes to take into consideration the best way to develop each individual on the team to ultimately get the very best overall team results later on in the competitive portion of the season.
At the meet, the Tigers will square off against teams from Southern Illinois, Murray State and Rend Lake College. The Tigers will run their "B" teams on both the men's and women's side. SIU will also run their "B" teams this weekend while Murray State and Rend Lake will run their "A" teams.
Running for the men will be Kevin McKee (Kansas City, Mo.), Pat Donnely (Philadelphia, Pa.), Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, Iowa), Ricky West (Scarborough, Ontario) and John Hughes (Center, Mo.). McKee and Irwin both ran at last year's SIU Early Bird and McKee turned in the Tigers' top finish at the event as he placed fifth overall.
The women's team will feature Aimee Bonte (Fenton, Mo.), Jessica Armstrong (Dorr, Mich.), Eden Slater (Stoneboro, Pa.), Megan Kowalik (Foristell, Mo.), Layne Moore (Emporia, Kan.) and Chelsea Chrisman (Eureka, Mo.). Bonte, Armstrong and Chrisman all ran at last season's SIU Early Bird. Bonte was the Tigers' best finisher at the meet as she placed third overall behind a pair of teammates - Ellen Ries and Bailey Belvis.
For a complete recap of the meet, along with all the latest on Mizzou cross country, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.