Missouri State Classic highlights 2007 Cross Country slate



The Missouri State cross country team will host its first home meet in six years this fall, as the MSU Cross Country Classic headlines the Bears’ 2007 schedule that was announced Tuesday afternoon.

The fall season opens for Missouri State September 1 at the Washington University Early Bird Meet, a 4-Kilometer race in St. Louis’ Forest Park. Kicking off a challenging early season slate, the meet will feature competition from NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA schools.

The Bears’ first home meet since the 2001 season, the MSU Classic will be held Saturday, September 22 at the Missouri State cross country facility at the intersection of Division Street and Highway 65 in Springfield. The Bears’ new home venue is already drawing national attention for its championship layout and amenities, and head coach Greg Hipp hopes the new facility and the return of a home meet to the MSU schedule sets the stage for even bigger things.

"We’ve already had interest from over 20 schools, including some of the top programs in the midwest," said Hipp. "The new facility was designed with the idea of hosting conference and NCAA championship meets, and we hope to be able to bring some of those events to Springfield in the near future."

Following the MSU Classic, the Bears will compete in the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday, September 29.

"As always, our main focus is on getting ready for the Valley, pre-national and NCAA regional meets," Hipp added. "The Oklahoma State meet will help us meet that objective in that it will give us the opportunity to compete against some of the best competition in the region on one of the nation’s toughest courses."

The Bears will then compete at the NCAA Pre-National Championships on Saturday, October 13, in Terre Haute, Ind., before traveling to Cedar Falls, Iowa for the Missouri Valley Conference Championships on Saturday, October 27.

The NCAA Midwest Regional meet will take place on Saturday, November 10 in Peoria, Ill., with the NCAA National meet taking place Monday, November 19 at the Wabash Valley Sports Center in Terre Haute.

Missouri State will be seeking its sixth Valley title in the last eight seasons, as nine of the Bears’ top 10 runners will return in 2007, including two-time All-MVC selection Kristin Wolkey, who posted MSU’s all-time top 5K performance of 17:23.67 last fall.



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