Aug. 8, 2016
WASHINGTON - Director of Track & Field / Cross County Michael Smith and Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey announced the schedule for the 2016 cross country season. The Hoya men and women each have seven meets on the slate with three regular season and four postseason events featured.
"We're excited to begin the Georgetown women's cross country season,” Smith said enthusiastically. “We create our schedule with the goal of giving our athletes the time- and race-specific experience they need to compete at their best at the BIG EAST and NCAA Championships. We've made a careful decision to send the Hoyas to Wisconsin over the Pre-National meet for the first time in many years. The Wisconsin meet is the closest to capturing the experience of the national meet and we expect this squad will gain much from that scenario.”
The Hoyas open the season on Saturday, Sept. 10 with the men traveling to State College, Pa., for the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational and the women competing at the JMU Invitational in Harrisonburg, Va. GU will then take a three-week break and return on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa., one of the biggest cross country meets on the East Coast. The Hoyas will close the regular season on Friday, Oct. 14 at the Wisconsin Invitational, one of the premier meets in the country that welcomes elite competition to Madison, Wis.
“We've got familiar territory in the courses for both BIG EAST, at historic Van Cortlandt Park, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional, hosted by Penn State, that our racing strategy allows us to be course-specific in both cases,” Smith continued. “The competition will also be familiar and we expect to compete at the very front in both of those events. The NCAA meet will be a test of how we come together as a group and apply what we've learned in the run up to that moment."
Georgetown will enter the postseason in vintage style as the BIG EAST Championships return to New York City’s Van Cortlandt Park for the first time since 2012 on Friday, Oct. 28. Of the men’s seven BIG EAST team titles, three have been won at the historic venue, as well as four of the women’s five team crowns.
Friday, Nov. 11 will mark the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, held in State College, Pa. The Mid-Atlantic region will get a pair of automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, slated for Saturday, Nov. 19 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
“I feel that our cross country schedule will prepare the men perfectly for the postseason,” Bonsey said. “We will get a preview of the regional course in September at Penn State and I believe that will be valuable come November. The big addition to the schedule is the meet at Wisconsin. The Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational is the only meet in the country that is even close to the NCAA meet in terms of depth. I feel that meet will give us a glimpse of what's in store for us in Terre Haute. We're also very excited to have the BIG EAST Championships back at Van Cortlandt. There is so much history at that course and so many great Georgetown athletes have competed there over the years.”
• Of Georgetown’s six BIG EAST men’s cross country individual titles, three have been won within the friendly confines of Van Cortlandt Park (2008 - Andrew Bumbalough; 1989, 1988 - John Trautmann).
• GU alums Andrew Bumbalough, Matt Debole and Fleet Hower own the second-, sixth- and seventh-fastest 8,000-meter times recorded at Van Cortlandt Park in BIG EAST Championships history.
• The return to Van Cortlandt Park marks the 14th time the historic course has played host to the BIG EAST Championships. Boston’s Franklin Park has hosted 17 men’s championships and 14 women’s championships.
• The NCAA Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., for the 12th time in championship history and as many times in 15 years with the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course first playing host in 2002.