HARRISONBURG, Va., April 25, 2013 – On Thursday afternoon, head coach Dave Rinker announced the fall 2013 schedule for James Madison cross country.
The Dukes will kick off the season with an alumni meet on August 31 in Massanetta Springs. This will replace the JMU Invitational for 2013.
“We are going to be very young next year, so we wanted the first meet to be low key,” Coach Rinker said. “An alumni meet gets our former athletes back into the fold while allowing the young team to train hard early without having to think about racing.”
According to Coach Rinker, the schedule is designed to allow the young team to build throughout the season as the athletes gain experience. While several key senior pieces will be gone next year, he is confident in his team’s abilities.
“We have some outstanding returning runners for next season,” he acknowledged. “We also have an excellent incoming freshman class for 2013.”
After the alumni meet, JMU will head to nearby Longwood for the first competitive meet of the season on September 14. The following weekend, September 21, will bring a trip to Towson. As it is the site of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association cross country championship on Nov. 2, the September meet will serve as a first chance to learn the course.
On October 5, the Dukes will travel to Bethlehem, Pa., for the Paul Short Invitational. JMU will conclude the regular season on October 18 at the Penn State National Invitational.
“While Paul Short will be the first big race for us, hopefully we’ll be putting it together by Penn State,” the Dukes’ head coach stated.
When the Dukes head to Towson for a second time next season, they will be looking to challenge for their seventh conference title. They most recently won league honors in 2011. In 2012, JMU finished second only to William & Mary, and four athletes brought home All-CAA honors, including rising sophomore Jenna Flickinger (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin).
November 15 will bring the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in Charlottesville, Va. The Dukes placed sixth out of 37 competing teams at the 2012 meet. The top two teams at the regional level will advance to the national championship meet on November 23 in Terra Haute, Ind.
On that same weekend, the Eastern College Athletic Conference hosts the cross country championships in New York. JMU won the ECAC championship in 2012, the second title in three years (2010). The Dukes have also earned the individual championship each of the last three seasons.
2013 JMU Cross Country
Aug. 31, Alumni Meet, Massanetta Springs, Va.
Sept. 14, Longwood Invitational, Farmville, Va.
Sept. 21, Towson Invitational, Towson, Md.
Oct. 5, Paul Short Invitational, Bethlehem, Pa.
Oct. 18, Penn State National Invitational, University Park, Pa.
Nov. 2, CAA Championships, Towson, Md.
Nov. 15, NCAA SE Regionals, Charlottesville, Va.
Nov. 23, NCAA Championships, Terra Haute, Ind.
Nov. 23, ECAC Championships, New York, N.Y.