GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum University men's and women's cross country teams will be in action seven times this fall, including three championship meets to close out the season according to the 2019 schedule revealed by TU head coach Cory Pratt.
The Pioneers will look to build upon last year's performance which saw the TU men claim one team title and a pair of runner-up performances while the Tusculum women finished runner-up in one meet and a seventh place finish at the South Atlantic Conference championship.
This schedule has an ideal setup with us only having to race in back-to-back weeks once," said Pratt. "Each race provides a challenging course along with some of the best competition at the regional and national level. I think this provides our teams with the challenges needed to be ready for our championship season."
For a fourth consecutive year, the Pioneers will host the Zaxby's Open on the Holston Home for Children cross country course in Greeneville on Friday, Sept. 6. The TU men claimed first place honors at their home meet while the women claimed sixth in the field at last season's event.
Tusculum rising junior and Greeneville, Tennessee native Will Cronin won the Zaxby's individual title last season with his winning time of 16:34.1 on the 5K layout.
Two weeks later, the Pioneers will travel to Cartersville, Georgia for the Wingfoot Classic.
On Oct. 5, Tusculum will compete in one of the most prestigious collegiate meets in the country at the Greater Louisville Classic, which will be held at Tom Sawyer Park, which has hosted numerous NCAA national and regional championships.
Tusculum travels to the Bobcat Invitational on Oct. 12 in Milledgeville, Georgia which will serve as the final tune-up for the 2019 SAC Championship on Oct. 26.
The league championship as well as the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship on Nov. 9 will both be held on the Wingate University campus course. This year will mark the fifth time Wingate has hosted the SAC Championship and first since 2010.
Any student-athletes and teams that qualify through the regionals will compete at the NCAA II National Championship on Nov. 23 at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex cross country course in Sacramento, California.
Tusculum rising graduate student Nicole McMillen returns after garnering All-SAC and All-Region first team honors in 2018 after finishing fifth in both the conference and regional championships. At the NCAA National Championship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Pickering, Ontario product finished 59th in a field of 266 competitors at last year's meet.