STARKVILLE, Miss. – Beginning the season in a new setting than previous years, the Mississippi State men's and women's cross country teams travel to Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, Aug. 31 to run in the Memphis Twilight hosted by Christian Brothers University.
The Bulldog squads have consistently opened their season with the Sewanee Invitational, running and winning the meet four of the last six years. This season, MSU will kick off the year competing in a race under the lights at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
“I am really looking forward to getting out there and actually seeing our teams compete," MSU coach Houston Franks said. “Our expectations are to go and see where we're at, coming off of summer training. Ultimately, we go into every meet with the expectation of trying to win.”
While both MSU teams are picked to finish 11th in the Southeastern Conference, the return of distance veterans will provide a boost in team leadership. The Maroon and White men will see all runners return, except for Philip Johnson. The Lady Bulldogs lose leaders Renee Masterson and Chloe Phillips, but will look to sophomore standout Cornelia Griesche and senior Katie Huston to lead the way.
“Our goal for tomorrow’s meet is to race hard,” Huston said. “It’s all about fighting to stay up with whoever is around you and focusing on catching the next person in front of you. I couldn’t be more excited to race with my teammates tomorrow.”
Franks expects an exciting year from his squads, noting the hard work the athletes have put in their summer training should translate in competition this season.
State will be joined in Memphis by SEC foe Ole Miss. Action is slated to begin Saturday at 8:20 p.m.
After returning home from Tennessee, the MSU teams will prep for the Commodore Classic hosted by Vanderbilt on Saturday, Sept. 14.