MOUNT PLEASANT - The toughest competition of the season to this point awaits the cross country teams in East Lansing, Mich., as they travel to the Spartan Invitational on Friday.
Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State will play host to the meet, which begins with the 30-team women’s 6k at noon, followed at 12:35 p.m. by the 30-team men’s 8k. There is a $5 spectator entry fee for students, and a $7 fee for adults.
The Chippewas will face top-level competition from Big Ten teams and Mid-American Conference foes. The men will have their first showdown of the season with defending MAC Champion Eastern Michigan, and will also take on Big Ten teams Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
The women’s race features four Big Ten teams - Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State - and three from the MAC - CMU, Miami (OH) and rival Western Michigan.
The men will be represented by 13 runners in the 383-entry race, and the women will field 11 in the 367-runner race.
Sophomore Kyle Stacks - fresh off a runner-up finish in his season debut at the Badger Opener last weekend - and seniors Jason Drudge and Matt Lutzke will pace the Chippewas on the men’s side.
For the women, junior Krista Parks will look to build off the momentum of her career-best 17:59 5k at the Badger Opener last week, in which she finished seventh. A relatively young squad, with seven redshirt or true freshmen, will join Parks and seniors Maddie Ribant and Veronica Garcia.