Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan cross country program will open the 2017 season with its annual Jeff Drenth Memorial on Friday, Sept. 1, at Pleasant Hills Golf Club.
The event, CMU’s lone home meet of the season, kicks off a campaign during which the Chippewas will again visit Michigan State for the Spartan Invitational and Oakland, for a dual meet.
The Chippewas have added a trip to the Greater Louisville Classic in late September, a departure from last year when they partook in large-field meets at both Notre Dame and at Minnesota.
CMU will, in fact, make as many as three trips to Louisville in 2017. The Pre-Nationals (Oct. 14) and the NCAA Championships (Nov. 18) are slated to be contested there.
The Mid-American Conference Championships are scheduled for Oct. 28 at Miami (Ohio). The Great Lakes Regional Meet is slated for Indiana State on Nov. 10, one week ahead of the NCAA Championships.
The Chippewa women were fourth and the men seventh last fall in the MAC Championships.
“With this schedule we wanted to see different programs from around the country and get these young teams heading in the direction and aiming towards contending in the conference,” said Matt Kaczor, who is entering his fifth season as the Chippewas’ coach.
“We will definitely have young talent on both teams and want to see how they handle the Greater Louisville Classic and Pre-Nats, which should be competitive for this group,” Kaczor said. “We want to test the teams early to show them what they will need to do in order to compete at the MAC and beyond.
“I’m excited to see how they respond and with many first- and second-year (runners), it should be interesting to watch for the next few years.”