Several new events highlight 2012 cross country schedule

Several new events highlight 2012 cross country schedule

View 2012 men's cross country schedule
View 2012 women's cross country schedule

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Four brand new meets, the return to a familiar event after a four-year absence, a repeat appearance and hosting the annual TTU Invitational are highlights of the 2012 men's and women's cross country schedules unveiled this week by Tennessee Tech coach Tony Cox.

"This year's schedule is very different than it has been in past years," Cox said. "We are going to several new meets, and returning to one that we have not run in a few years."

Tech's new meets will be held at Huntsville, Louisville, Berry College in Rome, Ga., and Florida State. The Golden Eagles return to the Vandebilt Invitational for the first time since 2006, and run on a familiar course in Jacksonville, Ala., for the OVC Championships.

The schedule begins at the UA-Hunstsville Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8. A week later, the Golden Eagles will be in Nashville for the Vanderbilt Invitaional on Saturday, Sept. 15.

"We are returning to the Vanderbilt meet for the first time in about four years," Cox said. "We have been going to other meets on that weekend the past few years, so it will be good to get back to a meet that we used to do every year. Most of the runners on the current team have never run on that course. We usually have a good fan following at the Vandy meet."

The third week sends Tech to the University of Louisville Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22.

"Louisville will be hosting the NCAA Championship meet in November, so going there in September will give us an idea of what a championship course is like," Cox said "It is one of the largest meets in the country, so it should be a good one for us."

The turn of the calendar brings the GOlden Eagles home to host the annual TTU Invitational on Friday, Oct. 5.

"We are again hosting our home meet on a Friday at Southern Hills Golf Course," Cox said. "I have already had some teams commit to coming to our meet, so it should be another good meet this year."

The final regular season meet marks Tech's first appearance at the Berry College Invitational, just northwest of Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 13.

The culmination of the season is the Ohio Valley Conference championships, which will be hosted this year by Jacksonville State on Saturday, Oct. 27.

"We ran there (Jacksonville) last year during the regular season, so most of the team has seen that course before," Cox said. "It is a very flat course, so I expect us to have some fast times this year."

The NCAA South Regional meet will be hosted by Florida State in Tallahassee on Friday, Nov. 9.

"This is always a good opportunity for us to race against some of the best runners in the country.  This meet is the qualifying meet for the national championships."

With success in the regional, the Golden Eagles could qualify for the NCAA National Championships, which are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17, in Louisville.