2014 Men's Cross Country Schedule Released
Aug. 28, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Head coach Jake Stewart has announced the schedule for the Fighting Illini men's cross country team. Fans will have two opportunities to see the harriers at home, including this Friday, August 29, when they host the Illini Classic at the UI Arboretum.
"One of our main objectives with this year's schedule was to provide quality race opportunities for the entire roster," explained Stewart. "I think one of our strengths this year is the depth of our roster, so we tried to schedule meets knowing that we wanted to put all the guys into races that will prepare us for November."
Following Friday's meet, the Illini are scheduled to make a road trip out to Kelso, Washington on Saturday, September 6 for a dual meet with Portland. The following week, the Orange and Blue return to the Midwest for the Bradley Intercollegiate Invite on Friday, September 12 in Peoria. After a week of rest, the team will make a trip up North to Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday, September 27 for the Roy Griak Invite, concluding the September portion of the schedule.
October begins with Illinois heading to Louisville, Kentucky for the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday, October 4. Following another weekend without competition, the Illini will have a split-squad on Friday, October 17. Some members of the team will be racing at the adidas Invite in Madison, Wisconsin, while the rest of the squad will take part in the Bradley `Pink' Classic in Peoria. On Friday, September 24, the Orange and Blue will host the Illini Open as its final tune-up before postseason racing.
This year's Big Ten Championships are scheduled for Sunday, November 2, with the University of Iowa set host the event in Iowa City. One week of preparation will separate the Big Ten Championships from the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, which are scheduled for Friday, November 14 in Peoria. A strong showing at the Regional Championships could punch the Illini's ticket to the NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, November 22.
"Everything for the program builds towards November," said Stewart. "We've got a lot of experience coming back that ran at both the Big 10 and Midwest Regional Championships. We want to improve our placing at both meets from last year and our schedule gives us every opportunity to make those improvements."