Mountaineers eager to prove worth Friday

The West Virginia University cross country team ranks No. 30 in the 2016 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Poll, announced Tuesday.

WVU cross country returns to State College, PA, where it will race in the Penn State Open on Friday.

“I would say we are much better prepared than we were for the first time at Penn State a month ago,” said WVU head coach Sean Cleary. “We will be adding in a few new runners and coming off of a great race at Lehigh, I expect a much better performance.”

The Mountaineers will race against some of the top 25 teams in the country, facing No. 25 Ole Miss, No. 8 Penn State and Oklahoma State.

“It’s going to be an excellent opportunity for us to prove ourselves as a potential at large team or an automatic team into the National meet,” Cleary said.

The Mountaineers had a two-week training period since its last meet at Lehigh University, where they took third place. They are looking to record another top five finish Friday.

Cleary also expects another big race out of Jillian Forsey, who recorded a season-best time of 20:32 at Lehigh.

“We expect to be good. We weren’t sure we would quite be that good two weeks ago,” Cleary said. “If we keep going like this we have a good shot of making the nationals and that was our goal at the beginning of the year we expect to be at the national championships.”