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Courtesy: Robert Barclay/CMU
Central Michigan cross country opens the 2013 season by hosting the 28th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial at Pleasant Hills Golf Course on Friday.
Cross Country Hosts 28th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan cross country opens the 2013 season by hosting the 28th Annual Jeff Drenth Memorial at Pleasant Hills Golf Course on Friday, August 30.

The women's race begins at 10 a.m., followed by the men's race at 10:45 a.m. Both races will be 5k events. Joining CMU at the meet will be Michigan State, Sienna Heights and Alma. No team scoring will be kept, as the event will serve the opportunity to help solidify the Chippewas’ roster.

CMU associate head coach Matt Kaczor is looking forward to seeing his squad in action for the first time in 2013.

"Both the teams look pretty good right now," Kaczor said. "It’s a good meet for me to see where we will be in about a month. To me, and the team, it’s huge because it sets the tone for the rest of the year."

Leading the way for the women’s squad is senior Krista Parks, who finished sixth overall at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Championships and was named a 2012 All-MAC first team selection. Sophomore Kelly Schubert is looking to have a breakout season for the Chippewas in an effort to make a run for the MAC title.

The men's team is led by junior Kyle Stacks who finished fifth overall at the 2012 MAC Championships. In addition to Stacks, junior Ethan Lievense is a strong runner looking to make an impact for the Chippewas this season.

The meet serves as a tribute to Jeff Drenth, an All-American and two-time Mid-American Conference champion who was an Olympic hopeful before he died suddenly in 1986.

Drenth’s brother, Michigan State Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Walt Drenth, started the memorial race in honor of his brother.

Former men’s cross country coach Craig Fuller will be the race’s starter on Friday. Before retiring in 2007, Fuller spent 19 seasons as the head coach for men’s cross country and 20 years as the assistant track coach. As an athlete at CMU, Fuller earned six varsity letters. He was All-MAC in cross country in 1978 and track in ‘79. Fuller qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1984 in the marathon and competed nationally in the steeplechase.

The Drenth Memorial is CMU's lone home meet of the season. The Chippewas return to action Sept. 13 at the Spartan Invitational.

MAC Preseason Poll
The CMU men’s cross country team has been picked to finish second in the MAC Coaches preseason poll while the women were picked to finish fifth.

The men are coming off back-to-back second-place finishes in the MAC Championship Meet with the women finishing fourth last year after taking second in 2012 and 2011.

Eastern Michigan was picked to win the men’s championship while Toledo was selected to win the women’s title. Both are looking to claim their fourth straight MAC Championship title.

2013 Women’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Toledo
2. Miami
3. Ohio
4. EMU
5. CMU
6. Buffalo
7. Akron
8. BGSU
9. Kent State
10. NIU
11. WMU
12. Ball State
 
2013 Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. EMU
2. CMU
3. Akron
4. Miami
5. Buffalo
6. Kent State
7. Ohio
8. Toledo
9. BGSU

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