ELON, N.C. – The 2014 schedule for the Elon University men’s and women’s cross country programs was released today, August 20, as announced by first-year Phoenix head coach cross country coach Nick Polk. A slate featuring competition at Notre Dame, the NCAA Pre-Nationals and its first Colonial Athletic Association Championship meet highlight the maroon and gold’s schedule.
“This year’s schedule is very competitive and will help us prepare and get ready for the CAA Championships as well as other high quality meets during the year,” said Polk. “We start off with a dual meet at home, a low-key event that will help us transition back into racing before our annual home event, the Elon Invitational in mid-September. Then from there, the schedule starts to get really competitive.”
The Phoenix will kick off its season with a dual meet at home versus local rival UNC Greensboro on Aug. 30, taking place on Elon’s home cross country course. That meet will be followed by the program’s annual home event, the Elon Invitational, on Sept. 13. The maroon and gold will then travel to Cary, N.C., for the Adidas Cross Country Challenge, hosted by NC State, on Sept. 19.
Elon will travel to three meets in the month of October beginning with the highly competitive Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3. After a week layoff, the majority of the Phoenix will travel to Boone, N.C., for the Blue Ridge Open, hosted by Appalachian State, on Oct. 17.
The following day, another group will compete at the 2014 NCAA Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind., home of the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships. It will be the third straight season that members of the Phoenix program have raced at the prestigious meet featuring the top programs in the nation. Last season, Elon’s Luis Vargas finished second overall in the men’s 8K white race between a pair of NCAA Outdoor Track and Field All-Americans.
On Nov. 1, Elon treks to Boston, Mass., for its first CAA Championship meet hosted by Northeastern. Last season, William & Mary took home the league title in both the men’s and women’s races. The Phoenix women finished as the runner-up in the Southern Conference Championships last year.
“We’re traveling to Boston for the CAA Championships for the first time and will be competing on a historic cross country course where many great runners have competed on from across the country,” said Polk. “I know the team is excited about joining the CAA and flying to Boston to represent Elon.”
After the Three Stripe Invitational, hosted by NC State, on Nov. 8, Elon travels to the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 14. At last year’s regional championships, the Elon women earned their highest finish ever at the meet with a ninth-place standing after coming into the meet ranked 14th in the regional rankings. On the men’s side, Vargas set a new school-record in the 10K with a time of 29:46.5 and became the first Elon runner to receive All-Region accolades.
2014 Elon Cross Country Schedule
Aug. 30 – Elon vs. UNCG Dual (Elon, N.C.)
Sept. 13 – Elon Invitational (Elon, N.C.)
Sept. 19 – Adidas Cross Country Challenge (Cary, N.C.)
Oct. 3 – Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, Ind.)
Oct. 17 – Blue Ridge Open (Boone, N.C.)
Oct. 18 – NCAA Pre-Nationals (Terre Haute, Ind.)
Nov. 1 – CAA Championships (Boston, Mass.)
Nov. 8 – Three Stripe Invitational (Cary, N.C.)
Nov. 14 – NCAA Regional Championships (Louisville, Ky.)
Nov. 22 – NCAA Championships (Terre Haute, Ind.)