LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 30, 2011) – For the first time this cross country season, the ETSU men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete outside of the state of North Carolina as the Bucs head north to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday morning.
After traveling to Boone, N.C. for their first two meets of the year, the Bucs will race on one of the finest terrains in the Southeast this weekend at E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in Louisville. The men’s team will run an 8,000m course beginning at 9:30 a.m., while the women race their 5,000m event at 11:30 a.m.
The 10th annual Greater Louisville Classic will once again be the largest college meet contested in the south. The Classic brings together some of the top college cross country programs in the nation, as over 2,000 athletes are expected to compete at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The event will not only feature immense quantity, but the overall quality of the competing teams continues to improve each year. The field will be comprised of 23 men's teams and 26 women's teams that are currently ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division- I Regional & National, NCAA Div. II National and NCAA Div. III National Cross Country Polls this season.
The location of the event, E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park, has been the site of five NAIA National Cross Country Championships, the 2007 BIG EAST Conference Championships, the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships.
The state park is home to the 2011 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championship, this year's BIG EAST Cross Country Championships and will be the site for the 2012 NCAA Division I National Championships.
Despite being idle a week ago, the men’s team moved up one spot in the regional rankings as the Bucs are currently 11th in the South Regional Poll. The Blue and Gold have a chance to move up the rankings this weekend as ETSU faces some stiff competition. Overall, the Bucs will be competing in the Gold Race which features the likes of nationally ranked Eastern Kentucky (No. 26) and Louisville (No. 27), along with several regionally ranked squads including – Alabama (No. 4), Chattanooga (No. 5), and Ole Miss (No. 8 in the South) -- as well as conference rivals Belmont (No. 6 in the South), Kennesaw State, and Mercer.
Sophomore Anders Ludvigsen (Odense, Denmark) has led the Bucs across the finish line in both races up in Boone, while fellow local products Sean Duffy (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) are coming off strong performances two weeks ago at the Mountaineer Open. Duffy and Chase finished a respectable 28th and 29th on the 6,400m course.
Like the men, the women will be going head-to-head with several conference foes as Kennesaw State, Mercer, and Lipscomb are all in the Blue Race.
The Lady Bucs have been led by the one-two punch of freshman Isabelle Grosskopff (Telgte, Germany) and sophomore Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.). Grosskopff turned in one of the top 20 fastest times in the A-Sun two weeks ago in Boone – finishing the 5,000m race in 18:39.20. Meanwhile, Clark registered a pair of top 20 placements in her first two races of the year. The Fairmont, W. Va. native finished 18th in both the Covered Bridge Open and Mountaineer Open. Clark clocked in at 19:58.4 in the season-opener back on Sept. 2, while then finishing in 18:50 two weeks ago.
Following the Greater Louisville Classic, the Bucs will have one final tune-up before competing in the A-Sun Championships on Oct. 29.
For complete results and a recap, stay tuned to ETSUBucs.com or visit http://alltraxtiming.homestead.com/glc_2011.html.