Sept. 27, 2007
WACO, Texas - The Baylor men's and women's cross country teams are back in action this weekend as the Bears will race in the 34th running of the Stanford Invitational on Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., while the Lady Bears travel to South Bend, Ind. to take part in the 52nd-annual Notre Dame Invitational on Friday afternoon.
The Bears, coming off a team title at the UNT Invitational on Sept. 15, will face a tough field featuring the sixth-ranked host Cardinal. Also participating in the meet will be No. 23 Cal Poly-SLO, who has already collected two team titles this season, as well as Pac-10 power Arizona.
"This is really a step up for our guys, with a lot of strong competition at this meet," said assistant coach Jon Capron. "There are some big name schools running this week and a top-10 finish would go a long way for our team. We have been running some lower mileage this past week, really trying to key in for this weekend."
The race will be a homecoming for freshman Robbie Knorr (Livermore, Calif.), who grew up in the Bay Area. Knorr has already shown promise in the young season, leading Baylor with a third place overall finish at the UNT Invitational in his first-ever 8K race.
"It will be good to have Robbie back home, and his family will be able to watch him run," said Capron. He has run this course before, so we expect him to get out well. Jacob Jones has also been running well this week, so he should be there right along with Robbie."
After winning their first two meets of the season, including a dominating victory at the BYU Autumn Classic, the Lady Bears will face a field that includes nine ranked teams. Second-ranked Michigan leads the field, as well as No. 6 Illinois and No. 9 Providence. The Lady Bears enter the weekend ranked 22nd overall.
"There will be a lot of good teams at the meet this weekend, and that will really give us a good challenge to see where we rank among the top teams," said head coach Todd Harbour. "The Notre Dame course is a flat, fast 5K course, so I think that it really suits our strength as a team."
Nichole Jones (Spring, Texas) has claimed individual titles in the first two races, but the Baylor pack has been tight as only 11 seconds separated the Lady Bears' top five runners in the meet at BYU.
"We have been really pleased with the amount of depth that we have had this season," said Harbour. "Danielle Bradley and Jessi Barnes have looked really good in practice and Erin Bedell is starting to feel a lot better and is still making a lot of progress. I think we have as much depth as anyone in the nation."
The men's race will begin at 7:15 p.m. CDT on Saturday, while the women's meet starts at 3:15 p.m. CDT on Friday.