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Courtesy: USF Athletics

USF XC Set for “Tune Up” Race at Briar Cliff

Courtesy: USF Athletics
          Release: 10/03/2012
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The University of Sioux Falls cross country team returns to competition Saturday, October 6 when they compete at the Briar Cliff Invitational in North Sioux City, S.D. The Cougars return eight of their top 10 finishers at this race a year ago, including five who finished in the top 15 of their respective fields.

A full interview with head coach Grant Watley about this week's meet can be viewed by clicking the play button above.

The race serves as a "tune-up", as USF is just three weeks away from the NSIC conference meet.

"We want to go out and see where we are at heading into the conference meet," said Watley. "Our goal this weekend is to simply be competitive and run some fast times. "

Saturday also marks their first race since the Woody/Greeno which was held September 15. The Cougars fared well among the 32 team field made up of 739 runners from NCAA DI, DII, DII, Junior College and NAIA intuitions. With 266 points, the men placed 10th (26:50.51, 2:14:12.55, 0:56.80) of 28, while the women's group tallied 389 points for 15th (24:21.21 , 2:01:46.05 , 4:02.65) out of 32.

Coach Watley was happy with the way his team utilized their time off. "We got a lot of quality training in. We haven't backed off at all because our consistent training will pay dividends here as we approach the post season," said Watley.

As far as this weekend, USF expects to come out and clock some fast times.
Watley said, "On, the men's side we're looking to win the meet. Our scoring runners have practiced well the past few weeks and I expect them to put up a low score".

The men's group returns five runners who finished in the top 40 at last year's meet. Running unattached, Bobby Brockmueller (23:58.36) placed second, Jared Noyes (25:04.19) finished seventh and also unattached, Matthew Horan (25:07.79), claimed 8th. Competing individually, Billy Brockmueller clocked a 26:14.28 (32nd), while Blake Stevenson (26:25.53) finished 37th overall.

"On the women's we are a little dinged up with Tessa out, but Becca, Sierra and Shelbie had strong meets at the Woody/Greeno, and Shelbie actually placed third overall at this event last year, so we expect some high finishes," Watley explained.

Like the men, three of USF's scorers on the women's side Saturday represented the Cougars' top times at the 2011 Briar Cliff Invite. Shelbie Pettie (18:04.20) recorded USF's fastest time to take third, while Sierra Harder (18:48.74) crossed the finish 15th. Becca Steadman (19:27.93) rounds out the returners. Her time ranked 32nd overall.

Up next, USF begins post-season competition with the NSIC Championships Saturday, October 20 which will be held in St. Paul, Minn.

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