JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State University men's and women's cross country teams will compete in six regular-season meets for the 2013 season to highlight the Red Wolves' schedule as announced by head coach Jim Patchell and cross country coach Kyle Chandler.
"We are excited by the nice mix of large and small competitive cross country meet venues," said Chandler. "In all, we will compete in seven different states which will provide an opportunity for friends and family members of nearly all men's and women's team members from nine different states a close-by opportunity to cheer for their ASU runner.
"We are pleased to open up our season at the Memphis Twilight, which has become a main staple early in our cross country season. The St. Louis Invitational is new for us, but we are looking forward to running at historic Forest Park, which was the 1904 Olympics location. The Greater Louisville Classic will present a good challenge for us as our top men and women will run in this competitivemeet. Our primary focuses will be to run well at the conference meet and regionals," added Chandler.
Arkansas State opens its 2013 campaign on Saturday, Aug. 31 as the Red Wolves compete in the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic at the Mike Rose Complex in Memphis, Tenn.
Following a week off from competition, A-State returns to the course Friday, Sept. 13 to compete in Saint Louis University's Big River Festival Meet in St. Louis, Mo. The women will run a 5K while the men's race is a 6K distance. The Red Wolves close out action in September on Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Rhodes College Invitational at Memphis, Tenn., with the women competing in a 6K race and the men's squad in an 8K event.
The Red Wolves begin October participating in the Greater Louisville Classic onSaturday, Oct. 5, at Louisville, Ky. The ASU women's and men's squads will run a 5K and 8K race, respectively, in what is the largest meet east of the Mississippi River and will be held on the site of the 2012 NCAA Division I NationalChampionship course. A-State then resumes training until splitting up for a pair of meets to be held Saturday, Oct. 19, in Indiana and Arkansas. The top women's team runners will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the 6K Indiana State Pre-National Invitational while the men's squad along with selected women's team members participate in the Arkansas-Little Rock (UALR) Invite in Little Rock, Ark. The running course will have a 5K distance for the women and 8K for the men.
Postseason competition for the Red Wolves commences Saturday, Nov. 2 with the 2013 SunBelt Conference (SBC) Championships at Troy, Ala. The NCAA South Central Regional meet is slated for Friday, Nov. 15, in Waco, Texas with Baylor serving as the host institution. The 2013 NCAA Division I Championships are set for Saturday, Nov. 23, at Terre Haute, Ind., and will be hosted by Indiana State. The event will take place on the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
With a measured amount of success achieved in 2012, expectations for both Arkansas State cross country teams continue to rise.
The ASU women's team will be bringing in five freshmen, who should have asignificant impact on the Red Wolves' fortunes this fall. A-State only lost two runners to graduation from last year's squad which produced the Red Wolves' highest conference meet finish ever of second place and turned in a program-record best ninth-place showing in the NCAA Regional Rankings poll.
"We should have a nice mix of experience and youth," said Chandler. "We're expecting to compete for the conference championship and improve upon last year's ninth-place showing at regionals."
The A-State men's team, which only lost two individuals, will welcome seven freshmen and one transfer for the 2013 season.
"The quantity and quality depth of our men's team should make us more competitive this fall," said Chandler. "The emphasis for our guys is an eye towards the team's best conference finish and a top 15 placing at the regional meet."