Vermillion, SD (KWSN) - Trips to rivals North Dakota State and South Dakota State, a Dakota Days open race, and an early look at the Midwest Regional course in Peoria, Ill., highlight the 2014 cross country schedule released today by head coach Dan Fitzsimmons.
Returning for the Coyote men are All-Summit League runners Mubarik Musa (2nd, 2013) and Brant Haase (7th, 2013). On the women’s side, the Coyotes will look to the leadership of juniors Amber Eichkorn, Kate Kaster and Katie Wetzstein. The trio were among South Dakota’s top 5 a year ago, each placing in the top-20 at the Summit League Championships. Both programs will rely on a strong contingent of freshman to step up as they combined to lose nine seniors from a year ago.
The season begins with a trip north on I-29 to Fargo on Aug. 29 for the NDSU Bison Invitational. The meet will be scored as a triple-dual against North Dakota State, North Dakota and South Dakota State. The following weekend on Sept. 5the Coyotes will run after dark in the Augustana Twilight Invitational.
After a two-week hiatus, South Dakota will race four consecutive weekends. The teams will race at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27 and the SDSU Classic on Oct. 4.
On Oct. 10, the Friday of Dakota Days, the men’s and women’s teams will run in the Charlie’s Dakota Days 5k Open against alumni, fans and area runners. The meet will be used as a fundraiser for South Dakota’s cross country and track & field programs.
On Oct. 17 the Coyotes will take an early look at the regional course when they compete in Bradley’s “Pink” Classic.
North Dakota State will host the Summit League Championships in Fargo on Nov. 1. South Dakota will look to improve on its performance from a year ago, where the Coyotes had six All-Summit League performers while finishing second on the men’s side and third on the women’s.
South Dakota will return to Peoria, Ill., on Nov. 14 for the NCAA Midwest Regionals. Should either the men or women finish in the top three at that meet or receive a wildcard bid, they would advance to the NCAA National Championships held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 22.
Courtesy: USD Sports Information