MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The No. 20-ranked West Virginia University cross country team opens its 2014 season at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Friday, Aug. 29, at 5:30 p.m.
“This will be a nice little rust buster for us,” said coach Sean Cleary. “Running at Lehigh is a chance to give our young runners a chance to compare themselves against some of the all-time greats in the program and where they were as freshmen.”
This is the second straight year the Mountaineers have kicked off their season at the Lehigh Invite. Last season, West Virginia secured a fourth-place result behind a 10th-place overall finish by then-freshman runner Paige Szabat
“The Lehigh course is one of the traditional east coast courses. I am looking forward to seeing how some of the young girls handle their first collegiate cross country race,” Cleary said. “We will run about half of the team this weekend in the hopes of having a better understanding of who we are and where we hope to go by season’s end.
“The conditions will be quite hot. Patience is the key for this one.”
The Mountaineers are ranked No. 20 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason national rankings, released earlier this week, marking their seventh straight year in the preseason poll.
WVU is slotted No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic Region preseason rankings following a fourth-place finish at the regional meet last season.