HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s and women’s cross country teams begin the 2012 season at the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C., on Sept. 7, head coach Mike Esposito announced on Friday. The Panthers will run in the Big South Championship at Winthrop on Oct. 27.
“We are very fortunate this season to have the opportunity to compete in so many high-level meets so close to home,” Esposito said. “We will get an early look at both the Big South Championship course and the NCAA Southeast Regional course. Both the men and women return a solid group of runners and it should be an exciting season for High Point University cross country.”
HPU will get a look at the course in Rock Hill, S.C. on Sept. 15 when the Panthers run in the Big South Preview. High Point will race at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 28 which will be the same site as the NCAA Southeast Regional held on Nov. 9.
On Oct. 13 the women’s team will head to Charlottesville, Va. for the Panorama Farms Invitational while the men’s team will run at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.
The men’s cross country team finished second at the 2011 Big South Championship and returns 10 of 13 runners from last season’s roster, including All-Conference honorees Jacob Smith and Patrick Crawford. The team finished 15th at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, Ky. last season. Seven newcomers will join the Panthers for the 2012 season.
The High Point University women’s cross country team returns nine runners from last year’s Big South title-winning team. Those returners include juniors Kayleigh Perry and Audrey Malloy, who finished third and fifth, respectively, at the conference championship in 2011. The Panthers have added eight newcomers to the cross country roster for 2012.