PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley's men's and women's cross country teams were both picked sixth in the pre-championship coaches poll as the Braves finish up preparations for Sunday's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's 8K will begin at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) with the women's 5K to follow at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
A video stream of the MVC Championship from the site of next month's NCAA Cross Country National Championships will be available on the Missouri Valley Conference website.
"We are excited about the opportunity to prove that we belong in the upper echelon of the Valley," said Bradley cross country/track & field head coach Marc Burns. "We plan to race like we have something to prove. Our teams are ready for a big emotional effort and will leave it all on the course in Terre Haute. There are some teams that have beaten us this year that we want to go after. This is a fantastic championship and our team will be ready to compete."
The women's team has been paced by underclassmen throughout the year with freshman Sarah McMahon (Colfax, Wis./Colfax) owning the 10th fastest 5K time in the Missouri Valley Conference this season. She is expected to challenge sophomore Cassie Lohmeier (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) for top individual honors, while freshmen Emily Delvo (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) and Molly Dahlquist (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) have consistently been among the squad's top performers.
Bradley is expected to field one of the youngest teams on the women's side, with an anticipated lineup of five freshmen and three sophomores. The Braves were sixth in the pre-championship poll following a fifth-place showing in 2010, but finished just seven points behind third-place Missouri State in the pre-championship vote of the league coaches. BU is currently ranked 15th in the Midwest Region.
The men's team is looking to improve upon last year's eighth-place finish in the Valley after being selected to finish sixth in the pre-championship poll. Like the women's team, the men's lineup is expected to not include a senior and could feature as many as seven freshmen or sophomores.
Pacing the men's team throughout the year has been freshman Marshall Moyer (Burlington, Iowa/Burlington), who won the Bradley Open and was the team's top finisher in three of four races. Sophomore Nathan Davis (Lewistown, Ill./Lewistown) and freshman Chase Coffey (Hanna City, Ill./Farmington) are both coming off strong performances at the Bradley Classic earlier this month.
Following this weekend's State Farm MVC Championship, the Braves will compete at the NCAA Region V Championship Saturday, Nov. 12 in DeKalb, Ill.