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Cross Country Set for OVC Championship

Cross Country Set for OVC Championship

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's and women's cross country will compete at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships Saturday in Oxford, Alabama.

The women's 5K begins at 9 a.m., and the men's 8K follows at 10 a.m. at Oxford Lake Park.

"The team is very excited," said Head Coach Eileen McAllister. "They feel a sense of readiness to get out there and show everybody what they may not have seen during the season. They're anxious to compete."

Junior Clint Kliem looks to build on his All-OVC 10th place finish at the meet a season ago. His time of 25 minutes, 19.68 seconds at the OVC Championship in 2013 sits 19th all-time at SIUE. He finished 19th as a freshman with a time of 25:24.19, which is 22nd all-time at SIUE.

McAllister and the men's team hope to improve on their sixth-place finish last season.

"It's going to be about our top four runners doing what they've been doing," said McAllister. "Any one of them could be the No. 1 guy. We'll need a No. 5 guy to step up and close that gap. That could be the difference."

The women's team has moved up in position over its first two OVC Championships and expects to do the same this season.

"It's about the pack mentality and closing the gap," said McAllister. "They need to get out from the start and compete."

Junior Kirby Hale placed 36th at the OVC Championship meet last season. As a freshman, she placed 23rd with a time of 18:24.33, which is 15th all-time at SIUE. Hale, along with Conradette King and Haley Briggs, all have been the frontrunner for the Cougars at least once this season.

"Any of them are capable of being our No. 1," said McAllister. "I'm looking for them to move up as a group."