Central College’s cross country programs open up the season this weekend with their annual home meet – the Central Dutch Invitational. Head coach Joe Dunham says the meet is a great way for his squads to ease their way into the competitive schedule and compete on a course they love.
“One thing is, we kind of just build into it. The ladies run a 5k, the men run a 6k – normally the women race a 6k and the men race an 8k,” said Dunham. “It gives us a chance to just kind of get ready for the season and build into racing. And it’s great to get into competition, get a chance to put the uniform on – put the Central “C” on your chest – and get out there and just run. Plus it’s – in my opinion – the best cross country course in the state. Of course, I’m biased.”
The Central men return nine letterwinners from last year’s squad and are ranked sixth in the Central Region. On the women’s side, the Dutch bring back 11 letterwinners – including former NCAA qualifier Mel McDermott. The Central Dutch Invitational begins with the women’s race at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning; followed by the men at 10:15. There’s also a high school portion of the race that will feature several local teams and begins at 11:00 a.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex.