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PREVIEW: Cross Country Hosts John Flamer Invitational

PREVIEW: Cross Country Hosts John Flamer Invitational

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's and women's cross country will host the 3rd annual John Flamer Invitational Saturday.

The John Flamer Invitational is named after the program's first ever coach.

"This race is an appreciation for all he did for our program," said Head Coach Eileen McAllister.

This is the second race that SIUE has hosted on its home course this year. Both teams posted a first-place team finish in the SIUE Cross Country Challenge and a total of nine personal records were set.

"We have a certain comfort factor on our home course," said McAllister. "The atmosphere and the fans are tremendous. They do a great job of showing up and that makes a huge difference for us. There's also a pride factor in that we don't want to get beat on our home course."

The race will feature a total of seven teams. Joining SIUE are DePaul, St. Joseph's, Missouri, Wayne State, the University of Illinois club team, and Washington University in St. Louis.

This is the fourth race for the Cougars this year. They are coming off of the Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, which was the largest race they will compete in all year.

"I'd like to see them rebound from the race last weekend," said McAllister. "We have had some good individual performances and several different leaders, but we haven't put it all together from top to bottom yet," said McAllister.

The women's team will see adjustments in the line-up as Ashley Brinker, Olivia Rohr, and Francesca Sikorski will make their collegiate debut.

The women's 6K race begins at 10:00 a.m. and the men's 8K race begins at 10:45 a.m. An awards luncheon honoring John Flamer, seniors Emily Conlon and Luke Padesky, and presentation of the outdoor track athletes of the year and captains will be held following the races.

"We are only as strong as our full top seven," said McAllister. "We are learning to run for each other."