EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The cross country season has arrived and the SIUE men's and women's teams are gearing up for success this season.
SIUE starts its season Friday when both teams travel to Eastern Illinois for the Walt Crawford Open. Ohio Valley Conference foes Murray State, EIU and Southeast Missouri State will be competing. Bradley, Illinois Central, Kaskaskia, Lincoln College, Vincennes and Illinois round out the competition.
"We begin the season at the EIU Walt Crawford Open," Assistant Coach Kayla Brown said. "It will let us view the Conference course during the regular season before we compete at EIU for the OVC Championships."
The men's team is returning five runners from last year's team. Leading the way for SIUE are seniors Ben Scamihorn (Marshall, Illinois) and Tyler Owens (Springfield, Illinois). Scamihorn had two top-10 finishes last season, including a second-place finish at the SIUE John Flamer Invitational. Owens had two top-10 finishes as well. The Cougars added three freshmen this season with Kevin Campbell (Memphis, Tennessee), Liam O'Connell (Grayslake, Illinois) and Joseph Stone (Newton, Illinois).
"Tyler Owens has really stepped up this season," Brown added. "He is leading the group in and out of practice and we look for his leadership during races."
The women's team will include six returning runners for this season. The three seniors are Jess Clarke (Le Roy, Illinois), Haley Miller (Tremont, Illinois) and Allie Sweatt (Edwardsvillie, Illinois). All three had at least one top-10 finish last season. Miller and Kennedy finished first and second respectably at the SIUE John Flamer Invitational. Kassidy Dexheimer (Washington, Illinois) is the lone freshmen runner for the Cougars.
"On the women's side, Haley Miller and Allie Sweatt are our senior runners this weekend," Brown said. "We anticipate them having big seasons and look to them for experience and leadership."