Cross Country To Host 23rd Annual Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational

Cross Country To Host 23rd Annual Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational

A Titan tradition is back this weekend as the UDM men's and women's cross country program host the 23rd Annual Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational on Saturday at Cass Benton Park in Northville.

The day begins at 9:45 a.m. with the running of the men's and women's open race. Then at 11:00 a.m., all the kids in attendance, nine and under, will then have an opportunity to get into the action with the Tommy Titan Future Legends Kid's Race as Tommy races the children on the final hill of the course.

The main event will then start up at 11:10 a.m., with the women's 5k collegiate race followed by the men's four-mile invitational at 11:45. After all the scores are tallied, a small awards ceremony will conclude the day.

The collegiate and post graduate teams participating on the day are; Concordia, Eastern Michigan, Front Line Racing Team, Glen Oak Community College , UIC, Macomb Community College, Madonna, Marygrove, Oakland Community College and Wayne State, with Schoolcraft running only a female squad.

'The open event look as big as ever as we had a record number of entries on the men's side as well as the defending champion in the women's race returning in Melanie Brender from Stevenson,' said head coach Guy Murray. 'The collegiate races are wide open as a lot of teams have some new faces on them. On the men's side, EMU is probably the favorite with the top returnees and a deep roster and tradition, but we will give them a challenge along with Wayne State and UIC.'

'The women's race will be the same teams, but maybe even closer then the men's with a lot of rookies making the difference so it will be interesting.'

The men's field includes EMU's Curtis Vollmar, the top returning finisher from 2008 and a three-time All- MAC honoree. Matt Morse from UIC was the Horizon League 10k runner-up in last season and won the UIC Opener last week, while Jeremiah Hargett- from Oakland CC (collegiate debut of third at Golden Grizzly Open) and Corey Nowitzke from the Mizuno squad (former All-American at EMU) are also threats to finish among the leaders.

'We won't be at full strength and have some 'game-time' decisions to make, but should have a runner or two in the top 10 and a stronger pack than last year,' said Murray. 'Alex Gould had a very good race last weekend and I look for a top 10 threat from Erik Westbrook, Alex Harris and Alex Vanias.'

'Erik had a good summer and if off to a good start, while Harris has been up front for us everyday and Vanias seems ready to go after a later summer injury.'

The women's field will also house a number of top harriers with Angela Matthews from Front Line returning as the top finisher from last year's race, where she finished 12th. Courtney Calka from EMU, who ran at Livonia Stevenson with Cass Benton as their home course, was fifth in her debut at the Michigan Open last weekend, while the reigning Horizon League Female Athlete of the Week Kristen Heckert from UIC is coming off a victory of her own at the UIC Open.

Former Titan standout Andrea Karl, a two-time All-Horizon League selection and three-time team MVP, will also be a candidate for a great finish as she runs for Front Line.

'We had a great opener last week and we had a team gap of :50 from one through five,' said Murray. 'I think we will challenge some people if we keep the pack together and everyone improves a bit from the opener.'

Full results of the races will be posted on as soon as they become available.