HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Kentucky men’s and women’s cross country teams will face a large field of competitors when they travel to Huntsville, Ala., for the North Alabama Showcase on Friday.

Held at John Hunt Park, the men’s team will run an 8,000-meter race beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT (7:30 Central time in Huntsville), while the women will toe the line for a 5K race that begins at 9:15 a.m. EDT (8:15 a.m. Central time in Huntsville). The Kentucky men will be among 37 teams competing in the event, while the Wildcat women face an even larger field that totals 44 teams.

UK assistant coach Hakon DeVries is handling training and strategy for another season with the cross country and distance runners.  He sees the challenge of his runners navigating the number of competitors.

“This is our first larger invitational meet, which will give us a good opportunity to work on our team pack running,” DeVries said. “The course is very wide, so that helps a little. If we can assert ourselves early in the race, that also would help (avoid the traffic).”

“Every year is a new group, new team and we hope to use this meet to start building momentum to go through the season.”

Race results will be posted here.

Following this event, the next meet for UK will come Sept. 24 at the Cowboy Jamboree, hosted by Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.

Men’s Team OutlookTen men are slated to run in the meet – Dylan Allen, Jake Allen, Miles Brush, Blake Byer, Cade Byer, McLean Griffin, Alex Justus, Harper Moore, Jackson Watts and Aaron Withrow.  Jake Allen, Moore and Withrow return from the UK squad that finished sixth at last year’s Southeastern Conference Championship.

The Wildcats are projected to finish fifth in the league in the SEC 2022 coaches’ preseason poll.

Women’s Team Outlook
Similar to the men’s team, the Wildcat women return plenty of experience this season. Friday’s lineup of 13 Wildcats includes Maggie Aydt, Perri Bockrath, Tori Herman, Kaylie Kenne, Ally Kruger, Bryanna Lucas, DeAnna Martin, Phoebe McCowan, Natalie Molotky, Mollie Roden, Jenna Schwinghamer, Sydney Steely and Julz Williams.  Bockrath and Herman helped the Cats finish fourth at last year’s SEC meet, highlighted by Herman’s fifth-place individual finish.

In the SEC’s 2022 preseason poll, Kentucky is projected to finish fifth in the league.

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