UNI and Drake Point to the “The Oz Memorial” Meet

UNI:  The University of Northern Iowa cross country teams will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to compete at the Oz Memorial this Friday hosted by the University of Minnesota Gophers.  The course will be run at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis where both men’s and women’s teams will be competing at a distance of 6,000 meters.

The Panthers will travel 18 athletes including eight from the men’s side and 10 from the women’s side.  Senior Brett Egan will lead the way for the Panthers on the men’s side with fellow senior Ryan Korggman, juniors Andrew Swanson and Calvin Kibby, sophomore Terry Nielsen and true freshmen Zach Buchheit, Alex Hershey and Ben Fick rounding out the men’s team.  From the women’s team, senior 2011 All-Conference runner Hayley Thomas will help lead the Panthers to another strong finish. Running alongside Thomas will be seniors April Davidshofer, Allison Fick and Lindsey Wilkins, junior Clancy Hosch, sophomores Brittany Bunger, Haley Stevens and Alex Wilson, and true freshmen Hanna Martin and Callie Matthews.  This won’t be the first go-around for the Panthers at the Oz Memorial. UNI competed last year in Minneapolis as well with the women finishing in second as a team and the men finished fifth as a team.

 UNI is coming off a strong season opening performance from last week’s Bulldog Classic in Des Moines, Iowa. Senior Brett Egan ran away with the men’s race capturing first place overall with a time of 12:30 against a competitive field including last year’s MVC Champion.  Andrew Swanson finished in second for the Panthers with Terry Nielsen, Ryan Krogmann and Calvin Kibby rounding out the top-five finishers for UNI during the meet.  On the women’s side Hayley Thomas and Allison Fick both ran close to 20-30 second faster than the previous year’s competition. Thomas finished first for UNI with Fick, Lindsey Wilkins, Alex Wilson and Callie Matthews rounding out the top-five finishers for the UNI women’s team.

 The men’s race is set to start at 4:30 p.m. with the women’s race to follow. Fans can check www.unipanthers.com for results following the completion of the meet.

Drake: The Drake men’s cross country team will head up I-35 to Minnesota expecting to defend its title at the Oz Memorial for the third consecutive year. The meet is named after long-time Drake coach Gary Osborn. The 6,000-meter race starts at 4:30 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Friday (Sept. 7). The University of Minnesota is hosting the meet.

Last Time Out: The Bulldogs opened their 2012 campaign with their only home meet of the season, the Bulldog Classic, in Des Moines on August 31. Drake had four of the top-12 finishers at the meet, including Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) who finished third in a time of 12:51.

Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) wasn’t far behind finishing in sixth-place in 12:54. Brogan Austin (Boone, Iowa) was eighth in 12:58 and Ryan Flynn followed in 13:03.

A Year Ago: 
Powered by three top-10 finishes and a total team score of 37, the Bulldogs claimed the Oz Memorial team title for the second consecutive year in dominant fashion. Drake netted the lowest total team score by 39 points.

Austin, who won the event in 2010, led the charge for the Bulldogs, collecting a fourth-place finish, running the course in 19:30.13. He was followed by Omet Kak (Des Moines, Iowa), who finished seventh in 19:37.44, while Colin Hagan finished tenth in 19:41.60.

Next USTFCCCA rankings: The Drake men’s cross country team opened the 2012 season ranked 12th in the first United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Regional poll of the year.

The next USTFCCCA regional rankings will come out Sept. 10.

Up Next:  The Bulldogs will return to action on Friday, Sept. 21 back in Des Moines at the Grand View Invitational.

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