July 6, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville head coach Ron Mann released the 2012 cross country schedule on Friday, highlighted by three meets on Cardinals' home course, including the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
"We're excited to host this many prominent meets in the state of Kentucky, especially the national championships," Mann said. "Arguably, this is our best schedule we've put together.
"The national championships will be great for the city. Louisville has always been a running community and now, to not only have the University of Louisville, but all of the top schools coming here a couple times for pre-nationals and nationals is going to give the viewing public of cross country the opportunity to see elite competition and a promising event."
The University of Louisville and the city of Louisville will be first time hosts of the NCAA Division I Championships this season. The city previously played host to the 2010 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships and the Division I Southeast Region five of the last six years, including 2011. For nine of the last 10 years, the Division I championships have taken place just north in Terre Haute, Ind.
Louisville opens its campaign for the sixth-straight year at the Mid-America Opener in Evansville, Ind., on the campus of the University of Evansville on Sept. 1. Last season, propelled by Tyler Byrne's first-place finish, the men captured the team title, while the women's squad placed second.
After being idle for nearly two weeks, the squads trek east on Sept. 15 to participate in the 26th annual Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. Louisville's last appearance at the meet was in 2008. Both the men's and women's squads secured team victories, while Scott McClain and Tarah McKay won individual titles in their respective races.
The Cardinals then head back to Louisville for consecutive meets at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.
On Sept. 29, the Cardinals will race in the eighth annual Greater Louisville Classic, hosted by the Louisville Sports Commission. The men's squad fell just short last season of winning its third-straight team title at the meet, placing second. Individually, Byrne registered his second victory of the year at the meet, becoming just the second Cardinal to win the individual title.
Two weeks later on Oct. 13, the Cardinals return to their home course for the Pre-Nationals meet, an event that serves as a pre-cursor for the national championships. The meet, which is being held in the city of Louisville for the first time, features powerhouses such as Florida State, Oklahoma State, Colorado and Texas.
Louisville concludes the month of October with the BIG EAST Championships. The event will be held on Oct. 26 in Bronx, N.Y., with St. John's University serving as the host. In 2011, the event took place in Louisville, and the Cardinals' men's squad was edged by Georgetown for runner-up honors by two points.
The Cardinals' men's and women's squads will have another opportunity to bolster their bids for the national championships, as the teams are slated to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Nov. 9. The meet, which has taken place in Louisville the last three years, will be held in Charlotte, N.C., at McAlpine Creek Park. The top two finishing teams in each race automatically qualify for nationals.
The cross country season concludes with the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17 - the first time since World War II that the championships will be held on a Saturday instead of Monday - in Louisville at Tom Sawyer State Park. It is the 75th annual men's competition and the 33rd annual women's competition.
For all of the latest information on Louisville cross country and track and field, log on to UofLsports.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/louisvilletrack.
- This is the first time in NCAA history that the Division I cross country championships will take place in the state of Kentucky.
- This is only the second time a BIG EAST Conference city has been the site of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Marquette served as host of the event in 1985.
- For the first time since World War II, the Division I championships are take place on a Saturday instead of a Monday. Also, with the new date formula prescribing the national meet be held on Saturday before Thanksgiving, and by virtue of the calendar having the earliest possible Thanksgiving this year, the meet will be the earliest in Division I history.
- Louisville will be making its first trip to Charlotte, N.C., as the city will be first-time hosts for the NCAA Southeast Regional. The meet is slated for Nov. 9 at McAlpine Creek Park.
- The Cardinals have fared well at the Mid-America Opener each of the last five years. The men's and women's teams each have won the team title in their respective races four times.
| 2012 LOUISVILLE MEN'S AND WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SCHEDULE
|| Mid-America Opener
|| Evansville, Ind.
|| Winthrop Invitational
|| Rock Hill, S.C.
|| GREATER LOUISVILLE CLASSIC
|| BIG EAST Championships
|| Bronx, N.Y.
|| NCAA Southeast Regional
|| Charlotte, N.C.
|| NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS