GREENSBORO, N.C. – Cross country head coach Chad Pearson has announced UNCG's schedule for the 2017 season, with the Spartans set to visit five states over the course of eight meets.
"We always have hopes of putting together a cross country competition schedule that is designed to allow optimal training at designated times during the season," said Pearson. "Our goal is to race at times that allow us to gauge our progress in fitness while trying to maximize that fitness at the end of October and into November for the postseason. We accomplished that with the 2017 competition schedule."
It's a case of déjà vu for the Spartans as UNCG will compete in the same three September meets as a year ago. For the third-consecutive year, the Blue and Gold will open up with the Elon University Opener, set for the 2nd in Burlington. UNCG will head east for Cary, North Carolina for the Adidas XC Challenge on the 15th before wrapping up the month at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana on the 29th.
"Our season opener, the Elon University Opener is a meet we've taken part in for the last several years and it's a fun day of racing for our squads," continued Pearson. "It will be a fun and memorable day for our freshmen who will be racing in our UNCG uniform for the first time. Mid-September allows us the chance to go to the Adidas XC Challenge and allows our teams a great opportunity to gauge our initial fitness for the season. Afterwards, we wrap up the September racing schedule with a trip up to South Bend for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. We're familiar with this course and are hoping to really use the momentum from this meet to head into October with a lot of confidence that will be needed for both a large block of training and preparation for our postseason meets beginning at the end of October."
On Oct. 13, UNCG will take part in the East Carolina hosted Pirate XC Invitational, to be held in Grimesland, North Carolina. On the 14th, the Spartans will make way for Princeton, New Jersey to conclude the regular season with the Princeton Invitational. The Championship season will begin on the 28th with the Southern Conference Championship, hosted by Western Carolina in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
The NCAA Southeast Regionals will be held on Nov. 10 in Charlottesville, Virginia, while qualifying athletes will compete in the NCAA Championship on the 18th in Louisville, Kentucky.
The UNCG women are coming off of a fifth-place finish at the 2016 SoCon Championships, while the men's team placed eighth at the conference meet. The Spartans return All-SoCon honoree Taylor Delaney (Hope Mills, N.C./South View).