Brandon Lord returns for his senior season after redshirting during the 2013 track seasons.
July 10, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- Jumpstarted with a season opener at home, Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff and the Georgia cross country program announced the 2013 schedule on Wednesday.
Georgia's season will be highlighted with a trip to Minneapolis for the annual Roy Griak Invitational (September 28) and another to Madison, Wisc., for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (October 19) three weeks later.
Florida will then host the Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Fla., on November 1 before Alabama welcomes area competitors to the NCAA South Regional Championships on November 15. The 2013 season concludes in Terre Haute, Ind., which is a destination that has hosted nine of the last 11 national meets, on November 23.
Cunniff, who had an SEC champion and a First Team All-American in his first track season with Georgia during the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons, is looking forward to hitting the course.
"We are excited to announce this season's schedule, especially coming off a year that saw both our men and women advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championships," said Cunniff. "We feel like this is a schedule that gives us outstanding courses to run on and incredible competition to run against."
Georgia will host the Georgia Cross Country Invitational at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop to start the season on August 31. The men won last year's home meet with a perfect score of 15, while the Lady Bulldogs were also first after scoring 20 points.
"We open at home like we did in 2012," said Cunniff. "I think this helps get the momentum rolling and gives us confidence as we prepare for the rest of our year."
Last season, the Bulldog men were 18th and the Lady Bulldogs were 29th at the Wisconsin meet to help propel them into the NCAA Championships. Cunniff is confident this meet, as well as the Roy Griak meet, will be important stepping stones for his teams returning to nationals.
"Both the Griak Invitational and the Wisconsin meet are great challenges for us," Cunniff said. "Many different schools from different regions around the country travel to Minnesota for the Griak Invitational so that will help us to get experience versus a wide variety of competition. And the Wisconsin Invitational traditionally is the best regular season meet in the country and we are excited to be a part of that."
Following a two-week break after the Wisconsin Invitational, Georgia will join the rest of the conference at the SEC Championships in Gainesville. The Bulldogs captured runner-up honors on the men's side at SECs before also taking second at the 2012 Regionals. The Georgia women surged from a sixth-place finish at the league meet to take third at Regionals.
"As always, our concentration will be on the championship portion of our season and we are anxious to get to both Gainesville and Tuscaloosa for SECs and Regionals before arriving at the NCAA Championships," said Cunniff.
Georgia is coming off its best finish on the men's side in program history at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. The Bulldogs took 19th while the Georgia women finished 29th after advancing to their first national meet since 2007.