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Cross Country - Fri, Sep. 8, 2017

The Valley City State cross country teams look to start their season on the right foot Friday night with a quality performance at the MSUM Dragon Twilight Meet.

"There's a great deal of anticipation for both our men's and women's teams to begin competition this year with the level of talent and depth we have," said Chris Johnson, VCSU's head coach. "I'm excited to see what our runners are capable of as they've been working hard and growing together since the start of preseason. We're definitely hoping to surprise some people."

The Viking squad has seen significant growth this season and features a roster of 18 men and eight women heading into Friday's season-opener. Friday's races will be held at Moorview Soccer Complex in Moorhead, Minn., with the women running a 4k race at 8:15 p.m. followed by the men running a 6K race at 8:45 p.m.

With the men's team voted fifth in the North Star Athletic Association preseason polls, the young yet talented Vikings will look to turn some heads and prove that they are a force to be reckoned with at this opening meet and throughout the year. The Vikings have used that preseason poll as motivation in their training and practices leading up to the opener. With only five returning athletes there is a lot of unknowns going into Friday, but there is also a lot of excitement with the 13 new runners.

On the women's side there are even more unknowns, with the entire women's team being new to Valley City. The Viking women were ranked dead last in the preseason polls, and are eager to prove the NSAA coaches wrong.

"This first race will give us a good indicator of where this team is at and hopefully gives us a good place to take off from," said assistant coach Josh Mower. "We have a good group and lots of new talent to start competing at the conference and national levels."