Kiwanis' field boasts ranked teams, top runners

The Hanover College men's and women's cross country teams are set to host what is arguably the strongest field in meet history as teams from across the Midwest will compete in the Madison Kiwanis Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 7.

The Kiwanis Invitational men’s field consists of 14 schools, including three nationally-ranked teams, led by defending-national-champion North Central College (Ill.). Two other ranked teams, No. 23 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and No. 24 Wabash College, will look to challenge for the team title.

North Central, led by All-American Johnny Crain, have claimed three of the last four national championships and will look to gain familiarity with the course before the NCAA finales Nov. 23.

Crain will be challenged by Principia College (Ill.) senior All-American Wylie Mangelsdorf for individual honors.

While the women’s field does not feature any nationally ranked teams, several individuals will look to gain familiarity with the national course.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point junior Julia Colling, a 2012 national-qualifier, looks to be the front-runner. Two-time Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champions Hillary Cain of Franklin College should also challenge for top honors.

The Kiwanis Invitational will be the first of three home meets this season for Hanover's teams, including the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championships. The competition will begin at 10 a.m. at the L.S. Ayres Athletic Complex.