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Cross Country heads to Chattanooga for PowerAde Invitational

Women lead off with two-mile race at 5:45 p.m.

September 8, 2011 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to take part in the UTC PowerAde Invitational on Friday evening.

The women will run a two-mile race beginning at 5:45 p.m. CDT and the men will follow immediately afterward with a 5k. Both races will take place at the Moccasin Bend Race Course. Directions to the course can be found here.

Along with the Blue Raiders, the meet will feature Chattanooga, Lipscomb, Jacksonville State, Tennessee State and UT-Martin. Chattanooga claimed both the men’s and women’s titles at last year’s competition.

“This season’s meet features a bit of a smaller field compared to past seasons,” said cross country head coach Dean Hayes. “However, there will still be some very good competition. Chattanooga always fields good teams and will provide tough opposition.”

The Middle Tennessee men’s team will aid from the addition of senior Justus David on Friday. The Kitui, Kenya, product was scheduled to make his cross country debut at last week’s Belmont Opener but was ultimately held out due to injury.

The squad will look to receive another strong performance from freshman Robinson Simatei. The newcomer led the Blue Raiders with a third-place finish while clocking a 5k time of 15 minutes, 34.46 seconds last Friday in Nashville.

“Robinson ran a great race last week,” Hayes said. “It was a very pleasant surprise considering it was his first meet.”

Lucy Kapkiai will attempt to guide the Middle Tennessee women’s team to a low team score. The freshman from Eldoret, Kenya, got her Blue Raider career off to a fast start last week with a team-best 4k time of 14:25.86. Her eighth-place finish was the first top-10 finish for a Blue Raider making her debut since Kristen Tithof finished fourth at the 2008 Agnus Scott Invitational.

“Lucy is a very tough and competitive runner,” said Hayes. “She is talented and will only get better as she gains experience.”

Follow the Blue Raider men’s and women’s cross country teams on Twitter @MTTrackField and on Facebook at the MT Track & Field page. Also, stay up-to-date on the teams on their new blog, which can be found linked on the Track & Field page on GoBlueRaiders.com.

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