The defending Missouri Valley Conference Champions will host their last home meet before the championship is held in November.
On Sept. 20, SIU’s cross-country team will have its annual Saluki Invitational. The meet will feature the MVC Championship course and the full men’s and women’s teams.
Head coach David Beauchem said it has been a long five weeks of training.
“It’s really been a continuation of what we did going into the first meet,” Beauchem said. “We haven’t changed that much, it’s been more finishing the first five weeks, and getting ready to change into what we are going to do in the next five weeks.”
At the Saluki Early Bird meet, the men’s team defeated Indiana State, 20-35, and the women fell to the Sycamores, 32-23.
Beauchem said the Saluki Invitational is not a very big meet.
“It’s more of our team getting out and putting our race plan together for more races down the road,” Beauchem said. “It’s a real start to lead into the regular season.”
Beauchem said the women will race a 5K followed by an 8K. Everyone on SIU’s roster will race in the conference meet preview.
The course has rolling hills on grass, dirt and cinder trails. It will cross a gravel road for 20 to 30 meters.
Senior Sadie Darnell said she is excited to finally race this season.
“This is going to be my first race of the year,” Darnell said. “I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Darnell said it was fun to watch and cheer for her teammates at the meet.
“It was good for the freshmen to be a part of a college race even though there wasn’t too many other teams,” she said.
Darnell said she and the team enjoyed training.
“We have been able to do longer runs, and as the season moves on, we can get into faster runs, but right now we have just been working on endurance and fitness a lot,” she said.
Freshman Claire Darnell said she is also looking forward to Saturday.
“I am excited to race on our home course again, and it’s nice that a lot of our families get to come and watch us,” she said.