RALEIGH – Picked as one of the teams to look out for this season, the NC State cross country programs have released their schedules for the 2021 season, and I personally cannot wait for this campaign to get underway.
The respectful schedules were announced by head coaches Rollie Geiger and Laurie Henes last week and they include five regular-season fixtures before moving into postseason play at the end of October.
NC State will open its schedule with its only home meet of the 2021 term, when it hosts the adidas XC Challenge Friday, Sept. 17 at the WakeMed Cross Country Course in Cary, N.C.
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The Wolfpack will return to action the first weekend in October where they will compete in a pair of away meets. The team will be split on that weekend, with some of the runners making the trip to South Bend, Ind., for the Joe Piane Invite Friday, Oct. 1 and another group headed to Cary, N.C. to compete at the Great American XC Festival Saturday, Oct. 2.
On Friday, Oct. 15 the squad will be split again as it heads to the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisc., and the ECU Pirate Invitational in Greenville, N.C.
The meets will mark the final regular-season competitions for NC State.
The Wolfpack will then use the next two weeks to prepare for the 2021 ACC Cross Country Championships which will be hosted by Notre Dame Friday, Oct. 29 in South Bend, Ind.
Competition in the postseason will continue on Friday, Nov. 12 with the 2021. NCAA Southeast Regional in Lexington, Ky., with the top two teams from the regional meet receiving automatic bids for the 2021 NCAA Championships.
The 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships are slated for Saturday, Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, Fla.
After a year of uncertainty, last season, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, athletes and coaches are now looking forward to this season.
NC State will be hoping to build on a second-place finish by the women at the NCAA Championships last year, which tied the program-best NCAA finish and was the best final ranking in 20 years.
The men’s team finished 23rd last season and improved on its 26th-place finish in 2019.