Bears set to host Missouri State Cross Country Classic
The Missouri State cross country squad will return to action this Saturday, Sept. 22, when it hosts the Missouri State Cross Country Classic at Springfield Underground. The Bears’ first home meet since 2001, the event will feature runners from eight schools, including local entries from Drury University and Southwest Baptist University.
Additionally, athletes from the University of Arkansas, Chicago State University, Drake University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Webster University are expected to compete.
The MSU Classic gets underway at 8 a.m. with the annual alumni/community 5K run, followed by the collegiate women’s 5K at 9 a.m., the collegiate men’s 8K at 9:45 a.m. and a youth (12 & under) 1K run at 10:30 a.m. The cost to participate in the alumni/community run will be $20 on the day of the race and includes a t-shirt. The youth run is free and all finishers will receive an award, but parents must register their children. An awards ceremony will be held to wrap up the event at 10:45 a.m. Individual awards will be presented to the overall, track/cross country alumni and age group winners.
Missouri State began developing its new facility last fall on land provided by Springfield Underground, Inc. Located at the northeast corner of Division Street and US-65, the Bears’ new home venue features an all-grass loop style layout with routes for every common race distance from 5K to 12K. With a starting line wide enough for 40 teams, an over 600-meter straightaway before the first turn, and a running path that is at least 15 meters wide throughout, the course meets, and in most cases exceeds, all NCAA championship standards.
Missouri State will host the 2008 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championship, and MSU hopes to secure the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional for Springfield in the coming months. Missouri State has also submitted a bid for the NCAA national meet.
Spectators wishing to attend the Missouri State Cross Country Classic should take the Division Street exit off of US-65 and turn east. The entrance to the facility is through the second gate on the left. Admission is free to the public.