Missouri cross country releases 2019 schedule

The Tigers announced two home meets, including the first hosted at Columbia’s new Gans Creek course.

The University of Missouri men’s and women’s cross country teams announced their 2019 schedules on Friday, including the first-ever collegiate competition at Columbia’s new Gans Creek course.

After a 2018 season without any home meets, the Tigers will race twice in Columbia, starting with the Mizzou Cross Country Opener on Aug. 30 at LA Nickell Golf Course.

Missouri will debut its new home course at the Mizzou Cross Country Challenge on Sept. 27. Construction at the venue, which includes 2-km and 3-km loops of racing surfaces as well as permanent viewing and timing structures, is nearing completion. Before the meet, Missouri athletics and the City of Columbia will hold a dedication ceremony, according to a press release.

“We are thrilled to be hosting two home meets this year,” coach Marc Burns said in the news release. “The new course at Gans Creek is amazing and will be a venue where we can host major championship meets at in the future. The team is excited to be able to race in front of the home crowd and bring big time cross country back to Columbia.”

The Tigers will return to the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 14. Missouri’s teams will split for the final regular-season competitions of the year on Oct. 18, with the men’s team racing at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin and the women’s squad competing at the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria, Illinois.

On Nov. 1, the full team will compete at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Lexington, Kentucky. The Tigers will also participate in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Nov. 15. From there, Missouri could qualify for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.

“This is the type of schedule that will allow us to get battle-tested for the postseason,” Burns said.

In the postseason, the Tigers hope to build on fifth-place finishes for both the men’s and women’s teams at the SEC Championships. The women’s squad has finished in the top five for three consecutive years.

The women’s team will likely be led by sophomore Tori Findley, a former Missouri high school cross country champion who earned Freshman All-SEC and Second Team All-SEC honors in 2018. Fellow sophomores Mikayla Reed, who was also named to the Freshman All-SEC team, and Reilly Revord will also look to build off of strong first seasons.

On the men’s side, senior Kieran Wood returns after a tenth-place finish at the SEC Championships and will be joined by redshirt senior Thomas George, who earned Second Team All-SEC honors last year.

The Tigers are currently concluding their preparations for the start of the season after a preseason camp in the Ozarks.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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