– Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley
and Head Men's Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey
announced the women's and men's schedules for the upcoming 2018 cross country season. Both squads tally seven meets during the 2018 campaign over the course of the three-month season.
"We are so excited about this season's lineup and truly feel it will give us the best possible opportunities to qualify for the NCAA Championships in November," Culley said of the women's schedule. "We'll see great competition where we hope to score NCAA bid points at two of our target meets prior to the postseason in Wisconsin's Nuttycombe Invitational and Penn State's National Invitational. With the new incoming cross country studs in our freshman class as well as the experience of our upper classman, we are hopeful this will be the type of season we have been striving for the last few years."
The women will open the season prior to the men as they will compete on Friday, September 7 at the Penn State Spiked Shoe Invitational, the first of three visits to State College for the women's squad. The men's team will open more locally as they compete on Saturday, September 8 at the Navy Invitational, hosted by the Naval Academy.
"Each year the regular season slate is meant to prepare the team for the postseason," Bonsey said of the men's schedule. "I believe this year's schedule will do just that. The NCAA Regional meet is held at Penn State this year and the NCAA Championships are at the University of Wisconsin. We will get a chance to preview both courses during our regular season schedule. I feel our schedule will prepare our team both mentally and physically for what takes place during the postseason."
Both squads will look to a big weekend on September 28-29 when a contingent will travel to the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday, September 28 while another group will compete at the Paul Short Run on Saturday, September 29. The group that travels to America's Dairlyand will get the opportunity to compete on the same course that will host the NCAA Championships in November. The Paul Short Run, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and hosted by Lehigh University, continues to serve as one of the premier early season cross country meets on the East Coast.
A two-week break will be all the Hoyas need as both teams will compete at the Penn State National meet on Friday, October 12. The course will serve as a preview to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, held later in the season in November.
The Blue & Gray will start the postseason with the 2018 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships as they travel to Indianapolis to compete at the course at Northview Church on Saturday, October 27. The men are the reigning BIG EAST champions and completed a three-peat in 2017.
With one last weekend of rest, the Hoyas will resume the postseason on Friday, November 9 as they return to Penn State for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships. With both squads getting the opportunity to compete on the course during the regular season, both teams will be poised for the meet that serves as the precursor to the NCAA Championships.
The Mid-Atlantic region will get a pair of automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, slated for Saturday, November 17 at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wisconsin, and hosted by the University of Wisconsin.