Cross Country Readies For Bradley Classic on Friday
Oct. 15, 2015
A total of 45 teams comprised of almost 1,000 participants will compete Friday, Oct. 16, at the Newman Golf Course in Peoria, Illinois. Marquette will send 12 men and 12 women to compete in their respective varsity meets, while entering four others for the men’s open race.
The Bradley Classic will begin with both the men’s and women’s open races at 3 p.m. The men’s varsity race is set for 4:25 p.m. followed by the women’s varsity race at 5:05 p.m.
“Overall, it’s a very solid meet and a good meet for our team,” head coach Mike Nelson said of the Bradley Classic, which his team will be competing at for the fifth year in a row. “The course has some gradual inclines, but the footing is very good. We’ve been able to put together some good times in the past.”
The Golden Eagles haven’t competed since the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis back on Sept. 26. It’s not unusual for teams to take extra rest leading up to the most important meets of the season and for MU, it’s no different.
“Training over the last week and a half has gone extremely well,” Nelson said. “Health for individuals has also improved. The reason we take a couple weeks off this time of year is to recoup and allow for a solid stretch of training and to get healthy. Things have gone very well.”
The men raced to a 14th place finish at last year’s Bradley Classic, led by then-freshman Alec Miller, who placed 54th overall with a time of 25:34.8. Miller has been the team’s top runner in every race to this point and will be one of five returning varsity runners on the team of 12 that Marquette will be sending to Peoria on Friday.
“Even though I don’t think we ran poorly last year, we still left with a bad taste in our mouths,” Nelson said of the team’s 14th place finish. “I’ve talked with each individual with where I would like to see them finish and our guys are ready to run well.”
The women placed fourth as a team a year ago and will only return four runners out of 12 this weekend. Senior Kellie Greenwood was Marquette’s top finisher last year, taking sixth overall with a time of 21:07.6, but will be forced to miss this year’s race due to injury.
Junior Brittney Fievor, who finished fourth on the team and 37th overall in last year’s Bradley Classic, has been running exceptionally well to start the 2015 campaign with top team finishes in each of the season’s first three races.
“Our health is improving each week,” Nelson said. “We did a workout recently that we did three weeks ago where they struggled to finish. Not only did they finish the workout, but their times were significantly faster. I’m excited to see what our girls can do on Friday.”
Marquette looks to take advantage of the hard work and preparation over the past few weeks and perform well in its final tune-up leading into the BIG EAST Championships.
“Sometimes it takes a few meets to figure out strategy and I think we have a clearer strategy with this meet as compared to previous meets,” Nelson said. “Simply, we’re looking to go in there and have our best meet of the season, set some personal-bests and just obliterate what we did last year.”
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