Baylor Cross Country Begins 2016 Hosting Bear Twilight Invitational

Posted at 8:58 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-31 21:58:50-04

Baylor's cross country teams will open the 2016 season by hosting the annual Bear Twilight Invitational at the Heart of Texas Soccer Complex Thursday.

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with the women's 4,000-meter loop, followed shortly after by the men's 6,000-meter loop. The course, at the HOT Soccer Complex, is located on the northwest side of Lake Waco near the Waco Regional Airport at 6101 Airport Road, Waco, Texas, 76708.

It’s the 14th-straight year, the Bears will open the season at home.

Baylor's teams, ranked fifth in the region on the women's side and seventh on the men's, will host men's and women's squads from Incarnate Word, North Texas, TCU and Texas State as well as the SMU women.

“I am probably as excited about getting this season started as I have been in a while,” head coach Todd Harbour said. “We have a good group of returning veterans from last year and maybe the best class that I have ever brought in. They have all worked hard over the summer and are in really good shape.”

On the women’s side, Baylor returns all-region performers, Alex Davis, Maggie Montoya and Peyton Thomas. That trio of seniors is joined by another senior Madie Zimmerman and junior Leila Rohde, who both ran on BU’s regional team in 2015, to form a veteran core.

Transfer Lindsey Bradley (Washington) and freshmen Gabby Satterlee and Anna West could help the BU women’s depth. The women will hold three of those runners, Bradely, Davis and Zimmerman out of competition for the opening week.

On the men's side, senior Matt League, along with juniors Eric Anderson and Matt Parham and sophomore Seth Brown all return from last season’s regional squad. Back as well is senior Jordan West, who battled through injuries his junior year. Sophomores Sean McCullough, Jeff Kirwin and Henry Huff as well as freshman Matt Henderson will look to get into the travel lineup for the Bears. League and West will both be held out of the opening weekend of competition.

“This is a great opportunity for my guys to prove what work they have done over the summer,” assistant head coach Jon Capron said. “I am excited to see them be able to showcase that a little bit in front of the home crowd. We are going to be running a little lean this first meet. I want to see where we are at, before we put the jerseys on some of these guys.”

Last year at the Bear Twilight, the BU women won the event for the ninth consecutive year with three runners in the top eight finishers. Montoya won the individual title. On the men's side, the Bears were second, securing their highest finish since being second in 2012 with Anderson notching a seventh-place individual finish.

The Bear Twilight is the only home meet of the season for the Bears. Both the men and women will have next weekend off, before taking part in the Ken Garland Invitational on Sept. 17 in Denton, Texas.