CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - - The Belmont Bruins men's cross country team is currently in Cape Girardeau, Mo., as they prepare for tomorrow's OVC Championship 8K at 10:00 A.M.
The Belmont Bruins head into this race ranked 2nd in the conference, only behind Eastern Kentucky, who is ranked No. 20 in the nation.
This will be a very different race than what the Bruins are used to, as this will be fewer teams involved in this meet than in previous meets. Only twelve teams are competing in the OVC Championship. Coach Jeff Langdon is calling on his veteran runners to help prepare the younger guys mentally for this type of race:
"With guys like Kaleb McLeod and Matt Edwards for example, they've been through this a couple of times, and they kinda know that the environment is totally different, that teams will be bringing a totally different game than what we've seen all year, so we're kinda dependent on them for leadership in terms of the mentality going in."
In last year's OVC Championship in Charleston, Ill., the Bruins finished third behind Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky, with Kaleb McLeod finishing first for Belmont (24:39.5) and Declan McManus finishing closely behind (24:44.5). McLeod finished No.12 overall and McManus finished No.14 overall.
Kaleb's brother, Jacob McLeod, will be racing in his first OVC Championship race. Throughout the season, he has finished in front for the Bruins in all of his races, so it will be interesting to see if he will do that in this race or if another Bruin will lead the way.
The race start time is at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, October 27.