Oct. 3, 2003
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville will host the 3rd Annual Cardinal Cross Country Classic Saturday on the U of L Shelby Campus. The women's 5K race will begin at 10 a.m., while the men's 8K race will start at 10:45.
This year's event is expected to attract its strongest field ever as 20 teams from six states are scheduled to compete.
"This will be the best field we've had in the event's three-year run," said men's head coach and meet director Gene Weis. "Tennessee, Kentucky and Miami (OH) are nationally acknowledged programs, and with the addition of several very talented clubs, it will be a very competitive competition for both the team and individual titles."
In the men's race, Kentucky and 2002 NCAA National qualifier Tennessee headline the competition, along with Louisville and defending champion Samford, which returns several of its stronger runners from last year.
Individuals to watch in the men's event are Matt Lapp (Tennessee), John Richardson (Kentucky), Nick Wenninger (Evansville), Bryan Baddorf (Samford) and Louisville's Wes Seacat.
"Tennessee has to be the favorite on the men's side," said Weis. "They are ranked in the top three in the South Region. Kentucky is No. 6 in the Southeast Region, but they are splitting their squad this weekend."
On the women's side, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky, Miami and Alabama-Huntsville headline the teams in competition with the Cardinals for the title. EKU is coming off consecutive wins at large meets, Kentucky dominated the Western Kentucky Invite and UAH is ranked 10th in NCAA Division II.
Individually, 2002 NCAA qualifier Katy Phillips (Kentucky), Brooke Patterson (Kentucky), three-time All-American Andrea Kramer (Miami), Wendee Embry (EKU), Lauren Blankenship (Samford) and Louisville's Amanda Bell should challenge for the overall championship.
"The women's race may be the better, more closely contested race," said Weis. "I expect to see the course record challenged in both races by any of several athletes."
The Cardinal men placed 7th out of 18 teams at the event last year. Tim Kaiser led the squad with a 24th-place finish. The women's team placed 6th out of 18 teams last year. Emily Daunhauer placed 28th and Corryn McCrae was 29th to lead the Cards.
The course will encircle the U of L Shelby Campus (located on Shelbyville Road near the Hurstbourne Parkway intersection), with the start and finish lines located near the parking lot on the west side of Burhans Hall. Parking is available on the campus and admission is free.