WAYNE – As Wayne State College fall sports continue to open their season, the Wildcat women’s and men’s cross country team is slated to begin with a Twilight Invite Friday.
Both the women’s and men’s team saw growth in numbers over the off-season under head coach Marlon Brink who is now in his 19th season of coaching at Wayne State College.
A recent hammer throw national champion during the outdoor season for the track & field team, Michaela Dendinger will be recognized during halftime of the Thursday night WSC football home opener. Dendinger was a 10-time All American and the most decorated athlete in WSC track and field history, according to Brink.
“It’s just a nice way to recognize her for her accomplishments,” said Brink. “She was also an Academic-All American four times which doesn’t happen very often for most athletes. We’re just real proud of what she accomplished here at Wayne State College during her career.”
The opening Wildcat cross country competition will be the Augustana Twilight Invite in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Friday, August 31. Coach Brink added the team has been to the invite the past seven to eight years.
“It’s kind of a good measuring stick for us to see where our athletes are at coming into the season,” Brink added. “Just kind of get a good feel on as we go into the real heart of our season then after that into September.”
There will be about 25 teams per race, broken down to about 300 runners per field. The women will run at 8:30 p.m. followed by the men at 9 p.m.
Following the Woody Greeno Invite in Lincoln on Saturday, September 15, the WSC Wildcat Classic will be back in Wayne on Saturday, September 29. After not hosting a home meet since the NSIC Championships and NCAA DII Central Regionals in 2014, coach Brink appreciates the opportunity competing on the home course.
“You got some hills, you got some flat sections and some turns,” Brink mentioned. “That really makes it more of a true cross country course than some of the other courses are just really flat and don’t really challenge the runners much, which is really what cross country is about.”
Teams out of South Dakota and Nebraska have committed along with a few alumni joining in to take part at the Wayne Country Club during the homecoming weekend.