Aug. 28, 2012
WACO, Texas - Baylor's cross country teams will open the 2012 season by hosting the annual Bear Twilight Invitational at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex on Friday.
The race is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with the women's 4,000-meter loop, followed shortly after by the men's 6,000-meter loop. The course, at the HOT Soccer Complex, is located on the northwest side of Lake Waco near the Waco Regional Airport at 6101 Airport Road, Waco, Texas 76708.
"The Bear Twilight is always a great opportunity to see where everyone is at," head coach Todd Harbour said. "It is a very quality field of teams coming in on both sides. It looks like it is going to be hot, but we are looking forward to running Friday night."
Baylor's teams, ranked fourth in the region on the women's side and 13th on the men's, will host men's and women's squads from Angelo State, Dallas Baptist, Tarleton State, TCU and Texas A&M as well as the SMU women.
For the BU women, sophomores Erin Hegarty and Rachel Johnson lead a contingent of runners that will be looking to return to the NCAA Championship as a team for the first time since 2009. Last season at the Bear Twilight, the BU women earned a first-place team finish by claiming the top four individual spots.
Hegarty finished fourth in last year's season opener and went on to finish first among Baylor runners at the Big 12 Championships with a 29th place finish. In the season's final meet, Hegarty placed 34th and second among BU runners at the NCAA South Central Regional. Johnson was neck-and-neck with Hegarty throughout last year with a second place finish at the Bear Twilight, a 37th-place showing at the Big 12 meet and an all-region performance of 19th at the NCAA event.
For the men, junior Brad Miles will anchor the 2012 Baylor squad that contains a group of four freshmen that will be battling for a chance to compete in the top seven. Last season, the men finished in second place at the Bear Twilight meet.
Miles was fourth last season at the Bear Twilight event and then claimed the top spot at the UTA Season Opener the following weekend. The junior went on to finish as the second-fastest BU runner at the Big 12 meet and then was the fastest Bear at the NCAA South Central Regional.