The Chattanooga men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to Macon, Ga., Friday afternoon for the Mercer Cross Country Invitational at the Georgia Premier Cross Country Course.
“Both teams are very excited about returning to racing after almost a full year of no competition,” head coach Andy Meyer said.
“There have been so many distractions for the kids over the last six or seven months, they are relieved just to be able to step to a starting line and compete!”
This meet will serve as a chance for teams to run the course prior to the 2020 Southern Conference Cross Country Championships to be run at the same course on November 21. The championships were moved to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but moved back to the fall last month. This will be Mercer’s first time hosting the event since joining the SoCon.
“It is a great advantage for our kids to preview this course and get it into their minds before the 11/21 championships,” Meyer said. “They can make mistakes this weekend and then know better how to handle the race three weeks later.”
The Invitation will begin with the women’s 5-kilometer at 5:00 p.m. All-Conference runner Makenzie Jones and all-freshman team selection Lesley Green will lead the Mocs on the course along with seniors Sophia Neglia and Ashlynd Broling. Freshman Brooke Rieves has excelled in training this fall.
The men’s 8K race will begin at 5:40 p.m., led by returners Jonathan Boyd and Jake Etheridge. Transfer Jasper Wilson and junior Ryan Phillips are looking to be strong competitors for the Mocs. Meyer added a strong group of freshmen in Seth Robinson, Kaigen Mulkey, Eric Mitchell and Jacob Boykin.
“We will be competing against only other SoCon teams,” Meyer said. “Samford, Western Carolina, The Citadel and host Mercer. All very well coached and very competitive.
“This will help us see where we are and how we need to improve over the last three weeks of training before the conference meet.”
Results will be posted online at GoMocs.com following the race. Live scoring will not be available for this race. Fans will not be allowed to attend the event.