USD cross country teams
will host Don Baker Invite The University of South Dakota cross country teams open their 2008 season Saturday when they host the Don Baker Invitational. Menâ�?�?s and womenâ�?�?s teams competing include USD, Midland Lutheran (NE), Mount Marty College and Morningside College. The collegiate womenâ�?�?s 5,000 meters will begin at 10:15 a.m. and the collegiate menâ�?�?s 8,000 meters begins at 11:05 a.m. Saturday. The event will be held at The University of South Dakota Don Baker Cross Country Course, which is located north of the DakotaDome in Vermillion. The meet will mark the debut of Dan Fitzsimmons as the Coyote cross country coach. Fitzsimmons is a 1986 USD graduate and was a standout runner for the Coyotes, a career highlighted by him setting the 3,000-meter steeplechase record, which stood from 1985-2000. Prior to taking over the reins of the USD cross country programs, Fitzsimmons built a powerhouse cross country program at Yankton High School, where he coached eight South Dakota AA championship teams, including three consecutive boysâ�?�? championships from 2005-07 and five straight girlsâ�?�? championships from 2003-07. In addition to the four collegiate teams which are competing Saturday, the Don Baker Invitational will also include a separate six-team high school meet. High school teams competing including Omaha (NE) Bryan, Vermillion, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Elk Point-Jefferson, Freeman Academy and Irene-Wakonda.