POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to open their 2013 campaign this weekend when they host the annual Marist Invitational at Bowdoin Park on Saturday morning. The Red Foxes will be racing against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) foe Iona as well as SUNY-New Paltz and Vassar College. The men’s race will begin at 9 a.m. with the women’s race immediately following at 9:45 a.m. Following the races, the Red Foxes will celebrate Senior Day with a special ceremony.

The men’s program is coming off of its eighth consecutive second-place finish at the MAAC Championships, finishing behind national power Iona each time. The Red Foxes lost one of their top finishers from a year ago in Arquimedes DelaCruz, but do return a strong core of veteran runners, led by senior Ken Walshak (Babylon, N.Y.) who was an All-MAAC honoree in 2012 after finishing 12th at the MAAC Championships. Marist features a roster that includes 10 seniors and one graduate student, including . The Red Foxes blend their veteran leadership with its youth, adding nine new freshmen to the squad for the fall.

The Marist women’s team also finished second at last year’s MAAC Championships, the second straight season the Red Foxes accomplished that feat. They return two of their top runners from 2012 in junior Michelle Gaye (Greenlawn, N.Y.) and sophomore Kristen Traub (Wayne, N.J.). Both runners earned All-MAAC honors last season by finishing in the top-15 at the MAAC Championships. The Red Foxes feature a young squad this season with only three seniors and 13 freshmen.

Following Saturday’s Marist Invitational, both programs will run in four additional races prior to the 2013 MAAC Championships, which will be on Friday, Nov. 1, at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. A pair of qualifying meets will follow later in November, starting with the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Nov. 15. The 2013 season will close on Saturday, Nov. 23 when the men’s IC4A and the women’s ECAC meets will also be held at Van Cortlandt Park.