Aug 29, 2013
WACO, Texas - Baylor's cross country teams will open the 2013 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.
"It is always exciting to get the season started," head coach Todd Harbour said. "We have a very quality field coming in, which will provide a good early season test to see how well we trained this summer."
Baylor's teams, ranked sixth in the region on the women's side and 15th on the men's, will host men's and women's squads from Houston, North Texas, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas State as well as the SMU women. There are slated to be 96 women and 67 men competing at this year's event.
For the BU women, junior Rachel Johnson leads a contingent of runners that will be looking to improve upon last season's eighth-place showing at the Big 12 Championships and seventh-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional.
Last year at the Bear Twilight, the BU women earned a first-place team finish by claiming four of the top 10 individual spots. Johnson won the event in 2012 and went on to be first among Baylor runners at the Big 12 Championships with a 13th-place finish to earn All-Big 12 honors. The Lady Bears also get Erin Hegarty back from injury, while a talented group of freshmen including Alex Davis, Maggie Montoya, Sofia Pitouli, Peyton Thomas and Madie Zimmerman look to make their mark on the BU program.
For the men, senior Brad Miles will anchor the 2013 Baylor squad that recorded its best-finish at the Big 12 Championships since 2004 with a seventh-place showing in 2012. Last season, the men finished in second place at the Bear Twilight meet with Miles being the top individual finisher at fourth. Veterans Derwin Graham and Jonathan Tijerina, along with sophomore Kyle Scanlan will be looked to be contributors at the top of the lineup in 2013.
The Bear Twilight is the first of nine events on BU's 2013 schedule. The Bears will also host the Big 12 Championships on Nov. 2 and the NCAA South Central Region Championships on Nov. 15.
For updates on Baylor's cross country team, follow @BaylorTrack on Twitter.