USF XC Ready for Woody Greeno Invitational Saturday
"The time off gave us an opportunity to get healthy and continue to train in preparation for post-season competition," said head cross country coach Grant Watley. "This meet will feature a lot of great runners and were excited to see how we size up with them."
Watley has high expectations for the team on both the men's and women's side. "The men's group has a legitimate shot at winning the college division this weekend," added Watley.
During their last outing, three USF runners finished in the top 20 of the men's four mile at the Augustana Twilight (8/31). Ethan Tabbert placed 10th, while Billy Brockmueller (20:02.96) and Jared Noyes (20:03.48) crossed the finish 17-18 to represent the Cougars' top times.
"We have looked great in practice and if our team pushes each other the way they have in practice, we should also place three or four runners in the top 35 of the women's field," said Watley.
USF's ladies also charted three top 20 finishes at the Augustana Twilight. Becca Steadman led the way with an 18:02.48 for 15th. She was closely followed by Shelbie Pettie, who took 16th (18:04.51) and Tessa Stoltenburg came in seconds later with an 18:09.57 for 20th place overall in the women's three mile.
The Cougars return Bobby Brockmueller and Sierra Harder, who were sidelined for this season's opening race.
Saturday mark's Bobby Brockmueller's first meet competing as a Cougar since the 2010 season as he and several other USF student-athletes redshirted for USF's final year of transition to the NCAA DII. Running unattached last season, he recorded the team's fastest 8k with a 23:58 at the Briar Cliff Invitational (10/8/11).
Harder's return fills the Cougars number two spot from a year ago. She tallied three top 3 finishes for USF in 2011, including a second place (19.10) finish at the Dakota State Herb Blakely (9/17/11).
After electing not to compete in the Woody Green last season, USF looks to return with a big-time performance on a big stage.