Drake Men's Cross Country Look to Defend Bradley Classic Title, Compete at Louisville Pre-National Meet
What's Ahead: The Drake University men's cross country team will split their squad this weekend to compete in two separate meets. One group will head east with the women's team to defend last year's Bradley Classic title. The 8-kilometer race on Friday (Oct. 12), hosted by Bradley University, will be held at the Newman Golf Course in Peoria, Ill. and will start at 4:40 p.m.
A select squad will fly to Louisville to compete against some of the top runners in the nation at the Pre-National Meet. The men's race will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Tom Sawyer State Park on Saturday (Oct. 13). Teams were selectively invited to this seeded race, which will serve as a precursor to the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship to be held on the same course on Saturday, November 17.
"Our workouts have been going very well so we're excited to see where we're at in our final tune up prior to MVC Championships," head cross country coach Dan Hostager said. "Our young men and women have been working extremely hard these past weeks and months and this is the point of the season where it really starts to pay off."
Austin finished 42nd in 25:53 on the 8-kilometer course while Lapham finished 67th in 26:22. Freshman Rob McCann (Mississauga, Ontario), 26:30, senior Mike Rodriguez (Chanhassen, Minn.), 26:41, and junior Ryan Flynn (Bettendorf, Iowa), 27:05, finished in 72nd, 77th, and 91st respectively.
A Year Ago: Led by Austin and fellow junior Omet Kak (Des Moines, Iowa) the Drake men's cross country squad won their fifth team title of the fall season at the 2011 Bradley Classic.
Austin, who finished the 8-kilometer race at Newman Golf Course in 24:41.7, was the runner-up to Butler's Ross Clarke. Kak's finish in 25:09.0 earned him a seventh-place finish in the field of 188 runners from 19 schools.
Drake won the meet with a team score of 76 points. Second was MVC conference rival Wichita State with 111 points.
Rounding out the team scoring for the Bulldogs were senior Colin Hagan in 25:14.16, Charlie Lapham in 25:38.4 and Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) in 25:41.5, who finished in 11th, 27th and 29th respectively.