Cross Country Auburn Invitational

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Indian Pines
900 Country Club Dr
Auburn, AL
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Date: September 7th, 2018

The Auburn cross country team will host the Auburn Invitational at Indian Pines Golf Course in Auburn on Friday, September 7, to open the 2018 season. The men’s 6k race will begin at 8:30 a.m. CT, with the women’s 4k starting at 9 a.m. It will mark Auburn’s first home cross country meet in six years.

The meet will feature a competitive field with five Southeastern Conference teams competing including Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

“It’s a very competitive field with some of the better SEC squads coming in,” Auburn cross country and distance coach David Barnett said. “There is definitely quality competition and it’s a good sized meet, but not too big. When you’re opening up the season you’re trying to get a starting point and see where you are and compete to the best of your ability.”

Auburn will be led on the men’s side by freshman Silas Kipngetich, who was an SEC outdoor scorer in the spring in the 3000m Steeplechase, will be the Tigers’ top competitor heading into the 2018 season. The Tiger men will have two juniors, Erik Armes and Alex Tucker competing along with three sophomores and two freshmen.

“On the men’s side we definitely want to put ourselves in a position to see where we are.  We have a lot of unproven guys, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of doing what we need them to do,” Barnett said. “I’m excited to see them compete at a high level. Silas will lead the way for us. He was a (SEC) scorer and will definitely be our top guy. I’m excited to see how our top five and how they match up with other teams.”

Auburn’s top two women’s runners from last season, Brenda Kigen and Joyce Kimeli, will not competing in the opener. However, a youthful and talented group of Tiger women will lead the way as one junior, four sophomores and three freshmen will race.

“On the women’s side we have a lot more depth.  Brenda and Joyce will not race because they will have longer seasons, but we have a lot of talented freshmen that are going to chip in. We want to be competitive and match up the best we can and show some people what we are capable of early.”

Friday’s meet will not only serve as the season opener, but will be a preview of the SEC Championships that will also be held at Indian Pines on Friday, October 26.

“It’s always a benefit to see the course whether you’re hosting or otherwise. Hosting makes it that much more enjoyable because you have the advantage of sleeping in your own bed and the familiarity of everything,” Barnett said.

The meet start-finish line will be near the golf course club house and admission is free. Fans in attendance are encouraged to park in the Indian Pines parking lot.