ELON, N.C. – Elon men’s and women’s cross country coach Christine Engel has released both schedules for the upcoming 2012 season. The men and women will compete in eight meets this year, including the Southern Conference and NCAA Regional championships.
“I’m looking forward to this upcoming season,” said Engel. “This year’s schedule will help set us up to perform at our best at both the SoCon and regional championships.”
The Phoenix will begin the season this year in nearby Winston-Salem, N.C., at the Wake Forest Relays on Friday, August 31.
Saturday, Sept. 15, will mark the fourth annual Elon Invitational on the university’s home course on south campus. The women will look to defend its title from 2011, while the men hope to improve upon its third-place finish from a year ago.
Elon returns to both the Charlotte Invitational and the Royal XC Challenge this season on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12, respectively. In 2011, the women claimed second and the men fourth at the Royal XC Challenge. Both meets will be held in Charlotte, N.C. The maroon and gold is also scheduled to run in the NCAA Pre-National Meet on Saturday, Oct. 13, in Louisville, Ky., at the site of this year’s national championship.
“For the first time this year, we will have a group compete at the NCAA Pre-National Meet,” commented Engel. “This will be a great opportunity for us to gain some more experience racing at the highest level before heading into the championship portion of the season.”
Saturday, Oct. 27, will mark the annual SoCon Cross Country Championships hosted by The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. At last year’s championships, the women finished third overall with Allyson Oram setting a school record and finishing ninth. Luis Vargas also set a school record to help the men to a sixth-place finish. Vargas placed 10th, which marked the best finish by an Elon male in the championship in program history. The Phoenix also saw top times from returners Emily Tryon, Haylee Dawe, Christine Pacewicz, Sean Magee and Ari Rothschild. Elon finished the championships with a total of six all-conference performances.
The maroon and gold’s last tune up before regionals will be at the NC State Three Stripe Invitational on Nov. 3 in Cary, N.C. This year’s NCAA Southeast Regional Championships will be held in Charlotte on Saturday, Nov. 10.