Salukis kick off season with Saluki Early Bird on Friday

    Senior Zach Dahleen earned All-MVC in 2012.

    Senior Zach Dahleen earned All-MVC in 2012.

    Aug 29, 2013

    Directions | 4K Course Map

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki cross country will begin its 2013 season at home on Friday with the unscored Saluki Early Bird, set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

    Rend Lake will be the only other school in attendance at the meet, which will compose of one co-ed 4K race beginning at 5:30 p.m. Many of Southern's key pieces for 2013 will not compete, including seniors Zach Dahleen and Brian Dixon on the men's side and junior Sadie Darnell for the women. Most of SIU's roster will compete next Friday, Sep. 6, at the EIU Walt Crawford Open in Charleston, Ill.

    The Saluki men were picked to repeat as Missouri Valley Conference champions in a preseason poll released by the conference on Aug. 19. They return all five All-MVC performers from that championship squad, including NCAA qualifier Brian Dixon.

    The SIU women were picked to finish third and received one first-place vote after they scored their highest finish at the conference meet since 2006 last season (third). Southern returns five student-athletes who finished in the top-30 in 2012 who will be key components in SIU's attempt to dethrone reigning champion Illinois State.