wvu xc

Nov. 11, 2016; WVU cross country coach Sean Cleary talks with his team at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals

West Virginia University's cross country team has the opportunity to get comfortable as the season progresses.

“Overall, the schedule looks very similar to past years,” coach Sean Cleary said in a statement. “We are always trying to ease into the season while we begin to train hard and culminate with the best chance to be in top condition come championships season. I feel this schedule allows us to do that.”

The Mountaineers had two runners compete in the NCAA Championships last year. Both Maggie Drazba and Jillian Forsey will be returning to run this season.

West Virginia will have an opportunity to get some valuable experience in both of their possible NCAA competing venues. The Mountaineers will visit the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course on the campus of Lehigh University, which will host the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, in early September. WVU will also compete at Cardinal Park in Louisville, which hosts the the NCAA Championships, at the end of the month.

“Running Lehigh early gives us some key experience on what will ultimately be the most important race outside the NCAA Finals,” Cleary said in the same statement. “I have always felt it is an advantage to have some experience on championship-style courses. Louisville serves the very same purpose. We will train very hard for about eight weeks once September arrives, as will most. I like that we have these meets positioned as they are to facilitate training.”

This year's Big 12 Championships will take place in Round Rock, Texas, just north of Austin. The Mountaineers finished third in the event last season.

Fri., Sep. 1  Lehigh Invitational (Bethlehem, Pa.)  
Fri., Sep. 8  Spiked Shoe Invitational (State College, Pa.)  
Sat., Sep. 30  Greater Louisville Classic (Louisville, Ky.) 
Fri., Oct. 13  Penn State National Open (State College, Pa.)  
Sat., Oct. 28  Big 12 Championship (Round Rock, Texas)
Fri., Nov. 10  NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional (Bethlehem, Pa.) 
Sat., Nov. 18  NCAA Championships (Louisville, Ky.)

Sports Editor

In addition to being a sports writer for the DA, John is a freelance reporter for the Associated Press and the Dominion Post. John is also a writer and editor at the Smoking Musket (WVU's SB Nation community).