CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina men's and women's cross country opens the 2014 season this Friday, Aug. 29 at home, hosting the Western Carolina Invitational. The meet begins at 6:30 p.m. with the women's two-mile race followed by the men's 5K at approximately 6:50 pm.
"We are excited and ready to get a competition underneath our belts and then be able to get back to the grind of the early season training," said Head Coach Danny Williamson. "This meet will allow our athletes to see where they are at after the first two weeks of preseason practice."
In addition to the host Catamounts, a total of seven teams will participate in the meet. Florida, the reigning champion of the meet will bring both men's and women's squads to Western North Carolina to headline the meet. Both the men and women's teams from Florida have won the team title four-straight years.
Other teams participating include: UNC Asheville, Georgia State, Gardner-Webb, North Carolina A&T, Wofford and Piedmont College.
"The meet will provide a stern test as the Univ. of Florida comes to Cullowhee with a pre-season ranking of # 3 (Men) and #8 (Women) in thew NCAA South Region Pre-Season Poll," Williamson said. "Also, Georgia State arrives as the defending Sun Belt 2013 Conference Champions for the women."
In the preseason Southern Conference Coaches-poll, Western Carolina's men's cross country team was picked to finish sixth. On the women's side, the Catamounts were also picked sixth and garnered one first place vote.
"Our goal is to go out and be very competitive and be able to see that we have improved as a team and individually from when we started two weeks ago," Williamson concluded.