PEORIA, Ill. -- A week after opening the 2012 cross country season with the 26th Bradley Open, the BU men's and women's cross country teams will get a preview of the course for the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Championships Friday when they take part in the Illinois Intercollegiate Cross Country Championships.
The women's 5K will begin at 5 p.m. with the men's 8K following at 5:45 p.m. at the Weibring Golf Course in Normal, Ill., which will also serve as site for the MVC Championship in late October.
Both teams opened the season with strong individual efforts at last week's rain-soaked Bradley Open. Junior Cassie Lohmeier (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) clocked a career-best three-mile time to finish fifth in the women's field last week, while sophomore Chase Coffey (Hanna City, Ill./Farmington) led the men's team with a career-best 8K time of 25:55 and was 13th overall.
"This is an important meet for us for many reasons," said Bradley head coach Marc Burns. "This is the Illinois Intercollegiates so there are bragging rights involved for the state. There are some tough teams competing and we will look to improve year to year. It also gives us a chance to get familiar with the course we will run for the MVC champs. We have a big freshman group on both sides and it will help those that end up racing at the Valley meet be more prepared for success later this fall."
Last year's Illinois Intercollegiate Championships proved to be some of the top performances of the 2011 season for the Braves. On the women's side, sophomores Emily Delvo (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) and Sarah McMahon (Colfax, Wis./Colfax) both turned in two of the top-10 5K times in program history last fall in Normal, Ill. Delvo missed last week's Bradley Open due to injury, but is likely to return to the BU lineup this week.
Sophomore Marshall Moyer (Burlington, Iowa/Burlington) was the men's team's top finisher last year, but is not expected to return to action yet due to injury. The men's team had several notable performances at last year's Illinois Intercollegiate Championship with senior Jon Richards (Streator, Ill./Streator) and junior Nathan Davis (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) both turning in career-best times at the Weibiring Golf Course in 2011.
The Braves will return to the Weibring Golf Course Oct. 27 for the Valley Championship.