Bucs will face numerous nationally-ranked squads
BLACKSBURG, Va. – (Sept. 18, 2014) – Following two weeks off from competition, the ETSU cross country program will be back in action on Friday at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational at the Buford Meredith Cross Country Course.
The women will begin the action at Virginia Tech with a 6 p.m. start time, followed by the men who will race at 6:40.
“We look forward to tomorrow's race and expect some improvement from our first meet three weeks ago,” said ETSU Director of Cross Country George Watts. “Both teams have trained very hard and although I don't expect the kids to feel fresh, I do anticipate a more complete race from them.”
The Bucs will square off against a field of competition in Blacksburg which will feature several nationally-ranked teams. On the women’s side, host Virginia Tech will be a formidable foe with its No. 22 national ranking, as will No.6 Florida State. For the men, nationally-ranked squads North Carolina (No. 19) and Florida State (No. 25) will also pose a challenge for the veteran-laden ETSU team.
Both squads will aim to repeat last season at the meet in which each team performed strongly. The Blue & Gold men won their respective race with Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) leading the ETSU pack with a third overall finish with a time of 25:30.20 in the 8K. For the women, the Bucs finished runner-up with Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) pacing the field with a 21:32.90 time in the 6K.
In ETSU’s last meet three weeks ago at the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, North Carolina, both the men and women turned in top-five performances with the men placing third and the women fifth in a field of competition featuring 11 teams. Hirko led the ETSU women with a 12th-place finish – out of 94 participants – with a 19:19.72 time in the 5K, while Chase led the way for the men with a seventh-place finish – out of 93 runners – with a 21:09.78 time in the 6400-meter run.
“There are some nationally-ranked teams in both races,” said Watts, “and this should open our eyes to what we hope to become in the future.”
Stay tuned to ETSUBucs.com on Friday evening for a recap and results from the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational.
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