Sept. 2, 2010
- Baylor's cross country teams begin the season hosting the Bear Twilight Invitational on Friday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Baylor Intramural Fields in Waco, Texas.
This year's edition will feature a host of regional competition, including TCU, SMU, Texas State, North Texas and UTA, along with non-Division I opponents UT-Tyler, Arkansas-Fort Smith, Dallas Baptist, Angelo State, Southwestern, Paul Quinn and Incarnate Word.
Baylor's women return a solid group, and with the addition of key newcomers, begin their quest of reaching the program's eighth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. After finishing second in last season's NCAA South Central Regional, they will start the season ranked fourth the preseason regional rankings. Meanwhile, the Baylor men, who finished seventh at the regional meet and start the season regionally ranked seventh, will be looking to show they can be a contender for a berth to nationals with a veteran group of runners.
For the women, the familiar faces of All-Americans Erin Bedell, Nichole Jones and Danielle Bradley are gone, but veteran senior leaders Katie Shaw, Leigh Ann Ganzar and Lauren Simpson will join experienced junior Cate Westenhover, Sam Patty and Kristen Hanselka to lead the team. Newcomer Robyn Bennett joins the Bears as a former Australian national champion and will help provide depth to the squad.
Westenhover shined at the NCAA South Central Regional last season, coming across the tape as the second Baylor finisher and 10th overall with a time of 21:23.4 to help lead the Lady Bears to a second-place team finish. Westenhover was the top finisher at the Ken Garland Invitational with a fifth-place finish, while Kristen Hanselka paced BU at the Chile Pepper Festival with a 49th-place finish.
On the men's side, the makeup of the squad mirrors the women with a solid group of juniors and seniors, along with underclassmen with the potential to contribute. Senior Robbie Knorr returns a year after lead the Bears as the top BU finisher in all five events, including an individual victory at the Bear Twilight Invitational.
Seniors Jeff Sadler and Ben Haby provide experience with a quartet of juniors that includes Brandon Reed, Brandon White, Zac Flowers and Logan Roberts. Sadler was the second BU finisher in four of five events in 2009 with a second-place finish at the Bear Twilight Invite.
Newcomers to the men's squad include Baylor track standout Gavyn Nero and freshman Brad Miles. Nero competed in track and field as a freshman last spring, earning all-Big 12 honors in the middle distances. Miles, who enters his first semester at Baylor, is a former Foot Locker Northeast Regional Cross Country champion.
The 2010 Bear Twilight Invitational is set to begin with the women's race at 6:30 p.m., with the men's race to follow. The meet will take place at the Baylor Intramural Fields located across LaSalle Ave. to the east of the Ferrell Center on the Baylor University campus.