The Illinois State University men’s cross-country team was chosen to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2014 season, while the women were tabbed at third.
The Redbirds kept everybody from the 2013 squad and were voted one tally short of the preseason favorite, Southern Illinois. Ryan Rutherford will look to lead the Redbird men’s team, after finishing second at conference and 20th place at regionals, earning All-Valley and All-Midwest honors, respectively. The Redbirds also return the consistent upperclassmen Sean Senf, Tyler Morse and Dave Eckhart.
On the women’s end, Illinois State earned one first-place vote, but were out matched by favorites Southern Illinois and Bradley, who took the first and second place rankings, respectively. The Redbirds women will have to replace the 2013 MVC individual champion Rachael Brewer, but senior Kim Christensen and junior Kelly McShea look to lead the team to another MVC title.
Both the men’s and women’s teams start their season in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Badger Season Opener on Sept. 5. The race is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m.