The Indiana State men’s and women’s cross country teams will open their season today when they head to Valparaiso for the Crusader Open.

Competition begins at 6 p.m. at Sunset Hill Farm County Park with the women’s 5K race and the men will follow at 6:45 p.m. with their 6K race. Friday acts as a preview to the Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championship course, as Valparaiso hosts the championships in November.

The Sycamores will have veteran leadership leading the way on both the men’s and women’s teams, with fifth-year seniors Ryan Cash and Brooke Moore returning. Cash is coming off of a stellar outdoor track and field season where he placed second in the steeplechase. Moore is the returning MVC runner-up in cross country and she captured the 1500-meter run title during outdoor season.

Both the Sycamore men and women were picked to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason coaches poll. The men gathered 54 points in the poll while Bradley was chosen as the favorite with all nine first place votes and 81 total points. The women tallied 65 points while the Bradley women were selected as the favorite with eight first place votes and 98 points.

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In other cross country news:

• Gibson Course hosts State Preview Meet — On Saturday, the LaVern Gibson Course will host the Terre Haute Savings Bank Invitational. It serves as the state preview meet for cross country programs around the state. Most of the area cross country teams will be participating in the meet, which anticipates having 2,000 competitors in the race.

Gates open at 7 a.m. on Saturday with a charge of $5 per spectator.

Soccer

• ISU soccer at Central Michigan — Indiana State's women's soccer team seeks its first victory at Central Michigan tonight. The match begins at 7 p.m.

This is the Sycamores' first-ever visit to Mt. Pleasant to take on the Chippewas.

The Sycamores and CMU only previous meeting came on August 28, 2011 when the Chippewas took a 2-0 decision in Terre Haute.

Sycamore goalkeeper Hannah Sullivan set a new career high with eight saves in the 2-1 loss at Saint Louis on August 25. In the rain, Sullivan recorded eight saves against 10 shots on goal. The Billikens recorded 20 shots to the Sycamores' three in the contest.

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