The Truman home athletics season will get started in unique fashion next Thursday evening with the Truman Cross Country teams hosting a triangular meet on the grounds of the Countryside Christian Church.
The men's four kilometer race will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the women's race will start at 6:30.
It will be the first home cross country meet hosted by Truman since the 2007 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Championships and just the third since 1996, all conference championships.
The Bulldogs will welcome Lindenwood (Mo.) University in a return dual from last season's opening race and fellow Great Lakes Valley Conference member Missouri S&T.
Of the combine 25 runners on both the men's and women's teams this season, 21 are either a sophomore or freshmen.
Junior Emma Burditt and sophomore Laura Tarantino are the top returners on the women's side.
Burditt finished first amongst the team in four meets last season with Tarantino crossing first in the other two races.
Tarantino won the dual with Lindenwood last season in a 4K time of 15:24 with Burditt finishing third overall at 16:01.
Senior Brad Hart has been the Bulldogs top runner in nine races over the past two seasons and won two individual titles as a junior. He won the Lindenwood Dual last year with a time of 12:40 and later in the season was the team's top placer at the GLVC Championships coming in 18th position. Christopher Floyd joins Hart as the lone seniors on the team while transfer Andrew Gordon, a native of Kirksville, Mo., joins the team after spending his freshman season at Southeast Missouri State University.
The Truman women finished seventh and the men were 11th in their first GLVC Championships last season while Missouri S&T men took sixth and their women were 10th.
Lindenwood was picked eighth for their men and ninth for their women in the MIAA Preseason Coaches' poll.
Fans are encouraged to attend and should be able to see nearly 90% of the race from viewing locations.
The runners will make three loops around the property to complete the 4K course.
Countryside Christian Church is located at 23153 State Highway H, locally known as South Boundary Street, southwest of the Kirksville city limits toward Troy Mills.
Courtesy Truman State University