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2015 Cross Country Schedule
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Head coach and director of Penn State cross country and track & field John Gondak has announced the 2015 schedule for the Penn State cross country program Monday.
“One again I believe we have put together a competition schedule that will prepare the Nittany Lions to excel come championship time,” Gondak said. “Last year we peaked at the right time with the program running its best at the Big Ten and NCAA Regional, and we will look to do so again this year. The meets at Louisville and Wisconsin will be great tests for us to prepare to compete on the national level in the post-season.”
The Nittany Lions are slated to compete in five regular season meets followed by three meets during the championship portion of the season.
“I am excited to see our team attack this schedule,” Gondak said. “We return most all of our student-athletes from last year and add some very talented newcomers. We are looking to get through the season and have both teams advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2010.”
The 2015 campaign begins for Penn State on Sept. 4, as they travel 45 minutes north to Lock Haven, Pa., for the Dolan Duals against Lock Haven University. Following the Dolan Duals, the Nittany Lions return home for their first meet of the year, the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational.
The Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational is slated for Sept. 11 at the Blue-White Golf Course. Last year at the Spike Shoe Invitational, both Nittany Lion cross country teams brought home first place finishes for the first time since 2004.
After the Spiked Shoe Invitational, the Nittany Lions do not compete until Oct. 3, when they travel to Louisville, Ky., for the Greater Louisville Classic. The Greater Louisville Classic marks the first scored meet for the Nittany Lions towards NCAA Championship qualifying.
The weekend of Oct. 16-17 features a pair of meets for the Nittany Lions. A group of harriers travel to Madison, Wis., for the Wisconsin Invite on Oct. 16 and another group of runners will stay back for the Penn State Open on Oct. 17.
The championship portion of the season begins for Penn State with the Big Ten Championships at the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course in downtown Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 1. The Nittany Lion women return the 2014 Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year, Elizabeth Chikotas. Chikotas finished 15th overall at the 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Championships.
The men’s cross country team returns five of the seven runners from the squad that finished third at the 2014 Big Ten Cross Country Championships. The third-place finish by the Nittany Lion men at the 2014 Big Ten meet tied the highest finish in school history.
Following the Big Ten Championships, the Nittany Lions head east to Princeton, N.J., for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships on Nov. 13. At the 2014 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, the Penn State men’s team placed third and the Nittany Lion women’s team finished fifth.
The 2015 cross country season comes to a close on Nov. 21 with the NCAA Cross Country Championships at the E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky. Last year, true freshman Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) advanced to the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships.