ELON, N.C. – Highlighted by its season-opening home meet and hosting the Colonial Athletic Association Cross Country Championships for the first time, the Elon University cross country men’s and women’s cross country programs released its 2017 schedule as announced by first-year head coach Kevin Jermyn on Monday morning, July 17.
Here is a closer look at the Phoenix’s schedule:
The Phoenix will host the fourth annual Elon Opener on Sept. 2, at the Elon cross country course. Among the teams scheduled to compete at the meet includes league foes College of Charleston and Delaware as well as Triad rival UNCG.
Elon will host the 2017 CAA Cross Country Championships for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28. It will be the first time the program has hosted a league cross country championship of any kind since 2009.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to host the CAA Cross Country Championships on our home course,” said Jermyn. “We are fortunate to have a national class cross country facility and we will work diligently to provide a fantastic experience for all of the runners.”
Other Regular Season Meets
After the Elon Opener, the Phoenix makes a trip to the adidas XC Challenge on Sept. 15, in Cary, N.C. Elon closes out the month at the Paul Short Invitational on Sept. 30, hosted by Lehigh University.
The maroon and gold treks to pair of local meets in the start of October with the Phoenix competing at the Queens Royals Challenge in Charlotte on Oct. 6. The following week, the Elon harriers will split for a pair of meets with the majority of the team competing at the High Point VertCross Invitational on Friday, Oct. 13.
The following day, Oct. 14, select members of the Phoenix will head to Louisville, Ky., for the NCAA Pre-Nationals, held at the site of the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The meet will feature among the best programs and individual runners in the country.
“We are especially excited for an opportunity to compete in two of the most competitive and prestigious competitions, the Paul Short Invitational and the Pre-NCAA meet,” said Jermyn. “Those meets will provide our team valuable experience running against national class competition.”
Elon closes out its regular-season schedule at the Three Stripe Invitational on Nov. 4, in Cary, N.C.
Elon will race in its fourth CAA Cross Country meet on Oct. 28, with both programs having great team or individual success since joining the league in 2014. On the men’s side, Elon has had an individual win the men’s race the past three seasons with Nick Ciolkowski taking medalist honors the past two years. Last season, the Fairport, N.Y., native took his second CAA title with a time of of 25:08.10 in the 8K race – 13 seconds faster than the runner-up.
The Phoenix women returns a pair of All-CAA performers from last year’s championship meet in rising sophomore Melissa Anastasakis and rising junior Coralea Geraniotis. Geraniotis is the highest returning finisher for the Elon women after earning an eighth-place standing while Anastasakis was 12th and followed Geraniotis as the league’s Female Rookie of the Year.
Following the CAA Championships, Elon continues its postseason run at the NCAA Southeast Region Championships on Nov. 10, in Charlottesville, Va. The 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships will take place on Nov. 18, in Louisville, Ky.