ARLINGTON, Texas -- Just two of UTA's five regular season meets are repeats from the 2016 campaign according to the full cross country slate released today by coach John Sauerhage.
Both the men's and women's teams will get underway when the calendar flips to September. For the second time in three years, the Mavericks' inaugural race will be the Baylor Twilight Invitational (Friday, Sept. 1) in Waco, Texas.
The annual home meet, dubbed the UTA Season Opener/Gerald Richey High School Invitational, will again be held at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie. The meet will feature both college and high school races beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16. Admission to the races is free.
The following week, the Mavs will have an opportunity to run on the Watts Cross Country Course in College Station, Texas, the site of this year's NCAA South Central Regional, as part of the Texas A&M Invitational.
UTA added another prestigious meet to this year's schedule in Arkansas' Chile Pepper Festival. The race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Fayetteville, Ark.
In addition to its home meet, the Mavericks only other returning meet is Alabama's Crimson Classic on Friday, Oct. 13. The race will once again serve as the final regular-season tune-up for the Mavs.
"This schedule will give our teams the opportunity to compete at the highest level while giving us the best chance to compete for conference championships and postseason berths," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "We are all very excited about the upcoming season and look forward to our first practice next month."
The Sun Belt Conference Championships are set for Sunday, Oct. 29 in Boone, N.C. The UTA men have won league titles in two straight and four of the past five years. The women have collected top-five finishes each of the past three years, including the SBC crown in 2014.
On Friday, Nov. 10, both UTA teams will make appearances at the NCAA South Central Regional in College Station. Last year, the UTA men posted their highest-ever team regional finish at the event (third) and qualified a pair of individuals for the NCAA Championships, including current senior Michael Guerrero.
This year's NCAA Championships, which feature the top two teams from each regional as well as the highest-finishing individuals from non-qualifying teams, will be contested in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 18.
In all, UTA's formidable slate includes five regular-season meets and three postseason races. Four of the eight meets will be contested in the state of Texas.
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