By Jocelyn VerVelde, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech first-year head coach Wayne Angel has announced the cross country team's 2014 schedule featuring an aggressive slate of competition. Both the men's and women's squads will follow the same schedule of meets.
"There will be a lot of challenges this season," Angel said. "Because we have not competed at this level before, against this type of competition, I think it's necessary to find out what type of student-athletes that I have, and what changes that I need to make in terms of training and preparing the student-athletes mentally."
Angel, who was hired recently as head coach of cross country and track & field programs, looks to push the squad as they tackle this tough and ambitious schedule. With meets hosted by schools in the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Big Ten, the Golden Eagle student-athletes will face some of the top competition in the NCAA.
"It's going to be very good to compete against teams of this caliber," Angel said of the strength of schedule. "It's going to be an eye-opener, but I think it's necessary so that the student-athletes can understand what it takes to be good, and in other levels, what it takes to be great."
The 2014 season will open on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the Carolina Invitational hosted by SEC foe, South Carolina. In September, the Golden Eagles will travel to Big Ten country as they head to Indiana to compete in the Indiana Open on Sept. 6. For the second September meet, Tech will keep it local as they take on their second SEC-caliber meet as they travel down I-40 to compete in the Commodore Classic at Vanderbilt.
The Golden Eagles will open October competition at the Greater Louisville Classic hosted by ACC rival Louisville on Oct. 4. They will then travel on Oct. 11 to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete in the FSU Invitational hosted by the second ACC opponent of the season, Florida State.
The culmination of the season is the Ohio Valley Conference championship, which will be held this year in Oxford, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The NCAA South Regional meet will be held on familiar territory as it is to be hosted by Florida State on Friday, Nov. 14.
"Slating a schedule like this sets a standard, and that standard is hard work," Angel said. "You know that when you wear the colors of purple and gold, it means something. And, that's it in a nutshell."