After finishing strong in each of their opening weekend races, both Bobcat cross country teams are prepared to race tonight in the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational.
In the Carl Broughton Invite last Saturday, the men’s team was victorious while the women’s team came in second behind
Coach Clay Calkins said both squads are ready for the first major meet of the season.
“We had some great practices this week,” Calkins said. “We had two hard practices and then two moderate ones before tapering off heading into the weekend. We’re looking good.”
The women’s team will be competing against some of the top teams in the NCAA such as Georgetown and Penn State, which are ranked first and 18th in the country, respectively.
“Penn State and Georgetown are two of the best teams in the nation, and we will be up against some tough competition this week, but I think that we still have some good runners as well,” Calkins said.
While the men are not going to race with any teams ranked in the top 15 of the nation, Calkins expects competition to be much tougher than the Bobcats faced in last Saturday’s meet with Alderson Broaddus and Marietta.
He said that none of the athletes who competed last weekend will race again this week, but he has his top 11 runners for each team set.
On the men’s side, Noah Howkins, Chase Robinson and Tyler Ames are expected to be the top performers. Juli Accurso, Melissa Thompson and Emily Pifer are the favorites to finish at the top for the women.
“I expect it to be a heck of a meet as far as talent is concerned,” Calkins said.
“This should be a great test for our program to see where we stand as a squad.”
Tonight’s race is the final race for the Bobcats before they return to Athens to race in the Ohio Invitational next Saturday.