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Oct. 30, 1997

MSU Gears Up For Men's Cross Country Championships

EAST LANSING, Mich. - This weekend marks the 83rd annual men's Big Ten Cross Country Championship in Columbus, Ohio. Michigan State, ranked seventh in the nation, heads into the competition as one of the top contenders for the Big Ten title after a successful regular season. At last year's Championship, MSU took third place with 83 points, following defending title owner Wisconsin (55) and arch-rival Michigan (63). Michigan State's third-place showing tied the Spartans' best run best effort since 1991.

During the regular season, the Spartans claimed four consecutive first-place team finishes, all led by senior co-captain Kyle Baker (Haslett). Baker looms as serious threat to win this yearis individual title after capturing three first-place finishes (Spartan Invitational, Windsor Open and the Paul Short Invitational) and a second place finish in the regular season. Baker's 11th-place finish in last year's Championship was the top MSU effort. Senior Chris Wehrman (Pinckey) will be another serious challenger after emerging as an integral part of the Spartan squad. Wehrman recorded a fourth, fifth and two seventh-place finishes. Another Spartan runner to watch will be sophomore Joe Leo (Northville), last year's Big Ten Freshman of the Year, who posted a sixth, ninth and 11th-place finish in three out of four meets.

This year's meet takes place November 1 at Ohio State University's OSU golf course and race time is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

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