Harriers set to host Rockets

The cross country team is looking forward to this afternoon, and with good reason.

After all, Bowling Green’s arch-rival Toledo is coming to town with their racing shoes laced up to face the Falcons.

Many teams may feel anxiety when their home opener involves going up against a strong rival, but coach Cami Wells doesn’t feel that way.

“There is more excitement because it is a dual meet with Toledo,” she said. “But there is no anxiety.”

While most races throughout the season are in the form of multiple-team invites, the strategy for this dual meet will not change.

“Our goal is the same regardless of the meet,” Wells said. “To run to the best of our potential.”

That was the plan in a highly successful Eastern Michigan Open last weekend when team leader Amber Culp led the pack in the women’s side of the event and Edgar Ramirez stayed with the leaders en route to a fourth place finish on the men’s side.

The biggest change from the EMU meet is that there will be more runners wearing Bowling Green uniforms.

The women will keep a similar sized team, running 13 girls. But the men will nearly double their team size from last week, running nine.

The main question for the team is who will be able to run and who will not.

“There is a lot of extra paperwork for foreign athletes that must be completed before they are cleared to compete,” Wells said. “I would have run them last week if they had been cleared and healthy.”

The one athlete who has not been cleared to run yet is men’s captain Mario Rothmund, who is still waiting for medical clearance from the NCAA. This will no doubt leave a large void and another large question for the men to answer.

But, there should be no questions to answer on the women’s side as they will once again be led into battle by their captain Amber Culp.

She will be accompanied by a number of young runners that are ready to prove themselves.

“The freshmen came into preseason confident and the practices have just bolstered that confidence,” Wells said. “I am very pleased with their progress.”

Action will begin at five this afternoon with both the men and the women running five kilometer races starting at the scoreboard in the south endzone of Doyt Perry Stadium.