NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma cross country teams will head to Joplin, Mo., this weekend to compete in the Missouri Southern Stampede Cross Country Meet held at the MSSU Cross Country Course.
The 25th annual race will take place on Saturday and will feature top schools from around the country.
Coming off his first meet as associate head coach, Jason Dunn expressed that this weekend is another opportunity for his team to improve.
“This is still just an early-season meet for us,” said Dunn. “We are more process-oriented than goal-oriented at this point in the season. Right now we just want to compete well. The goals will come more into play as we get closer to the championship season.”
The No. 10 regionally-ranked men’s team will run in the 8k race, which is slated to start at 9:45 a.m. and also features two top-10 nationally-ranked programs in Tulsa and Arkansas.
“On the men’s side there are guys that have not competed yet,” explained Dunn. “So it will be their first time and a chance to see where they are at.”
The Oklahoma women’s team will be making a return to the Southern Stampede with a fresh set of faces following the program’s 12th-place finish in Joplin during the 2012 season. The Sooners hope to build on the success they found during their previous meet at the Hurricane Festival, which featured a fourth-place and a sixth-place finish from freshmen Kelsey McKee and Elena Arriaza, respectively.
After running a two-mile race at its last meet, the women’s team will be competing in the 5k race which starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“We are gradually starting to run a longer distance,” said Dunn. “We are getting them more ready for what they will be facing later in the season, which is a 6k.”