2013 Men's Cross Country Schedule Preview
Sep 6, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - With 18-of-24 Minutemen being freshmen or sophomores, this year is about building a program for Head Coach Ken O'Brien. However with four of the seven top runners from last year returning, O'Brien feels his mixture of experienced runners and a deep pool of underclassmen can compete despite a difficult schedule.
Coach O'Brien describes the first three weeks as "three early tests to prepare us for the fire at the end of the year." His team kicks off the 2013 campaign with its annual home meet on September 14, the UMass Invite. At 11:30 a.m. they plan to host Vermont, Maine, Amherst College, Boston College and Providence College.
The following week the team ventures off to the Boston College Invite on September 27 for it's race at 4:15 p.m. There the team will face the reigning NCAA Champion #7 Wisconsin, as well as national powerhouses #12 Oregon, Cornell, Syracuse and many more.
October 5 the season does not get any easier for the Minutemen as they will then travel to Bethlehem, Pa. for one of the most competitive races year-to-year, the Paul Short Invitational. The Minutemen will race at 11:45 a.m.
On October 12, what Coach O'Brien described as the "fire at the end of the year" will begin. The team will head back to Boston for the New England Championship at 12:45 a.m. There the team will find themselves amongst the best teams in the region, a region traditionally known for its success in cross country.
UMass then heads back to the NCAA Champions home turf in Madison, Wis. On October 19 for the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational at 11:00 a.m. There the Minutemen will face their final test before the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship on November 2 at 10:00 a.m. in Richmond, Va.
The conference has shifted this season with Charlotte, Butler and Xavier all leaving the Atlantic 10. However the conference did add George Mason, which has been a thriving institution in the realm of cross country and track and field.
The NCAA New England Regional Championship will then be held on November 15 at 1:15 p.m. in the Bronx, N.Y. The team will then compete in one of two meets on November 23. The team will compete in the IC4A Championship back in the Bronx at 10:30 a.m. or they will travel to Terra Haute, Ind. for the NCAA Championship at 1:15 p.m.