A-State XC Runners prep for Saturday's Rhodes College Invitational

From Arkansas State University

The Arkansas State University men's and women's cross country teams travel to Memphis, Tenn., this Saturday (Sept. 28) to run in the 23rdannual Rhodes College Invitational at Shelby Farms.

The Red Wolves, who were idle this past weekend, will get this Saturday's action underway with the women's race at 10 a.m. (CT) followed by the men's team running at 10:40 a.m. (CT).

"Both the men's and women's teams will face their first test of the season racinglonger distances," said A-State Cross Country Head Coach Kyle Chandler.  "The men will be racing an 8K, which is about five miles.  The women will be racing a 6K, which is about a quarter mile short of four miles. For both, this is about one mile farther than previous races."

The Rhodes College Invite is scheduled to feature a record number of schools in the college/university division with about 25 teams expected to compete.

"There should be competitive fields in the men's and women's college races, so we are anxious to see how well we fair," Chandler said.  "We're excited to have another meet relatively close to our home campus and this should provide the opportunity for A-State alums to support our cross country teams along with our team member's family and friends."

A season ago (9/29), the Arkansas State men's squad posted a fourth-place finish at the 18-team 22nd annual Rhodes College Invitational as the Red Wolves totaled 143 team points.  Lance Beckman was A-State's top runner with a 10th-place 26:49.0 time on the 8K Plough Park course.  The A-State women's team didn't compete in last year's Rhodes College Invite, but opted to participate in the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky.

A pair of first-place performances were recently turned in by the Arkansas State men's and women's teams at the eighth annual Big River Forest Park Cross Country Festival on Sept. 13 in St. Louis, Mo.  The A-State women's squad produced 20 points in the 5K race and featured five top-10 place finishers, which included the top four.  Junior Kristina Aubert ran a first-place time of 17:26.0 and fellow junior Rexi Parcells' 18:38.0 time resulted inher garnering second place.

For the men's team, which accumulated 40 points on the 6K Central Field course in Forest Park, sophomore Wil Norris and junior Luke Lindsley placed third and fourth, respectively.  Norris clocked a 19:21.0 time while Lindsley cross the finish line in a time of 19:22.0.