MSU Cross Country Squads Travel To Alabama

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Sophomore Jodie McGuff prepares for Saturday's meet in Tuscaloosa.
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STARKVILLE, Miss. - With three meets under their belts, the Mississippi State cross country teams make the short trip east to Tuscaloosa to compete in the Crimson Classic on Saturday.

In their final meet before the SEC Championships, both the men's and women's teams look to build on recent success and finish the regular season on a high note. Others participating at the meet include SEC foes Ole Miss, Tennessee and host Alabama.

During their most recent performance at the Notre Dame Invite on Sept. 28, the Lady Bulldogs were paced by senior Renee Masterson (33rd, 17:18), who finished in the top fourth of all female runners. Katie Huston (73rd, 17:41) and Chloe Phillips (74th, 17:43) followed Masterson to the finish line and aided the women's team in tallying 366 points to earn a 15th-place finish.

"Since the Notre Dame meet, we've really focused on getting our top five really close together and making sure we have quick leg turnovers, so that we can get out fast and stay consistent throughout the race," sophomore Jodie McGuff said.

On the men's side, John Valentine (72nd, 24:42) led the way for MSU in the 8K, followed by Philip Johnson (131st, 25:32) and Curtis Kelly (140th, 25:37). The men totaled 587 points on the day to finish 20th in South Bend, Ind.

Action begins on Saturday with the Men's 8K race at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Women's 5K at 9:10 a.m.

"I think we're going to have five girls under 18 minutes," said McGuff about her expectations for the meet. "We have to just really keep on closing that gap between our number-one and our number-five girl to make the score as low as possible."

After returning from Tuscaloosa, the Maroon and White squads will turn their focus toward the SEC Championships held in Nashville on Oct. 26.



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