Cross country hosts first home regular season meet since 1995

By Justin Chartrand

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For the first time in years, the UK cross country team will be running on its own home ground.

The Bluegrass Cross Country Invitational will feature both college and high school teams. The meet starts with the men’s race at 9:30 a.m., followed by the women’s race at 10:10 a.m. at Masterson Station Park. After both men’s and women’s college teams have completed the courses, high school teams will follow.

UK head coach Edrick Floreal said he is excited about the upcoming meet.

“There isn’t much motivation for them — they get to compete at home and that’s enough for our runners,” Floreal said.

None of the runners on this team have ever run in a collegiate home meet.

“When we run somewhere in Tennessee, the only way people find out is through the website,” he said. “But with the meet at home, it gives people the chance to come out and see our guys run.”

The Cats first meet in Belmont on Aug. 30, did not satisfy coach Floreal, he said.

“It’s only the first meet, but we got to get better,” Floreal said. “The expectations are looking good and we strive to get better each week”.

The Cats have a few members returning from last season. Seniors Cally Macumber, Allison Peare and Anna Bostrom received All-Southeast Regions selections last season. Macumber finished ninth in the season-opening Belmont Opener on Aug. 30.

On the men’s team, senior Matt Hillenbrand finished fifth in the Belmont Opener. Floreal said expectations are high for the seniors.

“More pressure is on the seniors,” he said. “They have been waiting for this for three years and only have one chance to get it right.”