Mizzou Hosts Cross Country Challenge Saturday

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Kaitie Vanatta and the Tigers host Kansas, UMKC and Stephen's College Saturday.</i>
Kaitie Vanatta and the Tigers host Kansas, UMKC and Stephen's College Saturday.

Sept. 8, 2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After opening the season at the SIU Early Bird last weekend, the Mizzou cross country team will host its only home meet of the season this Saturday at AL Gustin Golf Course. The meet begins at 8 a.m. with the running of the high school teams. The collegiate portion of the meet will begin at 10 a.m. with the running of the men's 8K and that will be followed by the women's 5K at 10:40 a.m. Kansas, UMKC and Stephen's College will all join Mizzou at the meet.

The Tigers ran primarily their "B" teams at last weekend's SIU Early Bird but still got plenty of notable performances as Eden Slater (Stoneboro, Pa) won the women's event and Kevin McKee (Kansas City, Mo.) finished second for the men. But that makes this weekend that much more exciting as Mizzou will run its top runners at the meet. That means the women's team will run its top three student-athletes in Kaitie Vanatta (Littleton, Colo.), Bailey Belvis (Prosper, Texas) and Kinsey Farren (Dallas, Texas).

Vanatta was an All-Big 12 honoree and an All-Midwest Region finisher and qualified for the NCAA Championships, where she finished 54th overall as a true freshman. She was the fifth-best freshman in the field as well. She and Belvis combined to finish as the top Tiger at each of the Tigers' meets last season. In 2008, Farren was the Tigers' top finisher at every race, giving Mizzou three solid runners at the top of their rotation.

Vanatta won last year's Missouri Cross Country Invitational in what was her first career collegiate race. She clocked a time of 17:54.30 on the 5K trek. Belvis finished third at 18:05.70 as the Mizzou women repeated as champions at last year's event.

The men's team will also run its top runners this weekend, highlighted by a pair of Missouri natives in Phillip King (Columbia, Mo.) and Dan Quigley (St. Louis, Ill.). King won last year's race with an 8K time of 25:46.30, which was 19 seconds better than Don Wasinger of Kansas, who finished second at the event. Quigley did not run at last year's Cross Country Challenge due to a flu bug.



The men's team will feature a new coach patrolling the course on Saturday as Fred Bingelli, who was announced as an assistant coach with the track and field/cross country program over the summer, will lead the Tiger men. Head cross country coach Rebecca Wilmes will make her home debut as the head coach of the program as well.

For a complete recap of the meet, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.

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