MOUNT PLEASANT — Two visits to Madison, Wisc., the home of the men's defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers, and two more to Big Ten-hosted meets at Michigan State and Minnesota highlight the 2012 cross country schedule, which was announced Tuesday.
The first visit to Madison comes in the second week of the season at the Badger Opener on Friday, Sept. 7, at the Zimmer Cross Country Course. The Chippewas will return two months later on Friday, Nov. 9, for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional.
The schedule, which can be viewed in its entirety below, begins Friday, Aug. 31, with the 27th annual Jeff Drenth Memorial, the lone home meet of the season at the Pleasant Hills Golf Course for the Chippewas. The meet is in honor of the late Jeff Drenth, a standout track and field and cross country student-athlete vying for an Olympic berth who died unexpectedly in 1986.
Drenth was a member of the 1982 cross country team that won the first MAC Championship in program history. That 1982 team, along with the superlative 2002 team, will be recognized at the meet in recognition of the 30th and 10th anniversaries of their championships, respectively.
After the first trip to Madison the Chippewas are off to East Lansing for the Spartan Invitational on Friday, Sept. 14. Some members of the team will compete at the Northwood Open in Midland on Saturday Sept. 22, and the full team will be back in action for the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, hosted by Minnesota.
The team takes a two-week break before beginning the post-season portion of its schedule. At the Pre-National meet on Saturday, Oct. 13, the team will get an advance competition at the E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., the new host site of the NCAA National Championships. The Pre-National meet and the championships had previously been held in Terra Haute, Ind., at the Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course since 2004.
Two weeks later on Saturday, Oct. 27th, the Chippewas will compete at the Mid-American Conference Championships, hosted by Buffalo at the Audubon Golf Course in Amherst, N.Y. Both the men and the women will seek to defend and improve upon runner-up team finishes in 2011.
The Chippewas will make their return trip to Madison for the Great Lakes Regional two weeks later. The men finished seventh as a team in 2011, while the women finished eighth. Here, the Chippewas will also attempt to qualify as a team or as individuals for the NCAA National Championships, to be held in Louisville on Saturday Nov. 17.
2012 Cross Country Schedule
|Aug. 31||Jeff Drenth Memorial||Pleasant Hills Golf Course||Mount Pleasant, Mich.||10 a.m.|
|Sept. 7||Badger Opener||Zimmer Cross Country Course||Madison, Wisc.||
|Sept. 14||Spartan Invitational||Forest Akers Golf Course||East Lansing, Mich.||
|Sept. 22||Northwood Open||Midland, Mich.||TBA|
|Sept. 29||Roy Griak Invitational||Les Bolstad Golf Course||Minneapolis, Minn.||1 p.m.|
|Oct. 13||Pre-National Meet||E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park||Louisville, Ky.||TBA|
|Oct. 27||MAC Championships||Audubon Golf Course||Amherst, N.Y.||TBA|
|Nov. 9||NCAA Great Lakes Regional||Zimmer Cross Country Course||Madison, Wisc.||TBA|
|Nov. 17||NCAA Championships||E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park||Louisville, Ky.||TBA|