EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – With four returners and four newcomers, the SIUE women's cross country team has a perfect split of experience and youth.
"We're a lot closer than we expected to be early on," said SIUE Assistant Coach Kayla Brown.
The Cougars will have their first action of the season Friday at the Eastern Illinois Walt Crawford Open in Charleston, Illinois. The 5K race is scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.
Erin Kennedy (Wilmington, Illinois) represents the lone senior on the squad. She recorded the fourth-fastest 6K in school history at the 2015 Bradley Pink Classic.
"She has made tremendous improvements since her freshman year," said Brown.
Allie Sweatt (Edwardsville) posted the sixth-fastest 6K in school history at the Bradley Pink Classic in her first season. Sweatt joins fellow juniors Jess Clarke (LeRoy, Illinois) and Haley Miller (Tremont, Illinois) on the front line for the Cougars.
Brown said the group of four freshmen that includes Keri Burmester (Red Bud, Illinois), Aly Goff (Springfield, Illinois), Jalea Paslay (Vandalia, Illinois) and Haley Quinn (Manteno, Illinois) have been training well to start the season.
"A lot of the training techniques may be new to them. It is a little adjustment, but if we have the right mindset then it works out," added Brown.